Apr 07, 2017 News
The Diamond Diagnostic Centre (DDC) has once again found itself in the spotlight
after the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Social Services discovered that a shortage of drugs and key laboratory equipment existed at the East Bank Demerara facility yesterday.
The Committee’s visit was done in keeping with its responsibilities to examine all policies and administration for each sector to determine whether the execution of Government policy is in consonance with the principle of good governance and in the best interest of the nation.
The committee comprises both Opposition and Government Members of Parliament (MPS) and is chaired by Opposition MP, Dr. Vindhya Persaud.
Other members of the committee include from the Opposition, Alister Charlie, Indranie Chandarpal and Vishwa Mahadeo; from the Government, Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman; Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs Minister, Valerie Garrido-Lowe; Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Valerie Patterson; and the Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings.
The team comprising mostly of Opposition MPs was welcomed to the facility by the Medical Superintendant (MS), Dr. Maite Comacho Vasquez; Hospital Coordinator, Dr. Marina De La Torre Garcia; and the Head of the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department, Dr. C. Britton.
In the Office of the Medical Superintendent, the purpose of the visit was made known to the staff which led to a series of questions being asked by committee members with regards to the functioning of the facility.
The Committee Chairperson, Persaud, told the staff that the committee’s mission is merely a fact-finding one. She implored the Heads of Department and nurses to highlight some of the challenges being faced so that recommendations can be made to help correct them.
She stated, also, that the committee will be paying keen attention to the performance of the hospital staff and noted that the findings will be compiled into a report with the necessary recommendations that will be later presented to the National Assembly for necessary actions.
However, should the committee recognise issues that can be addressed immediately; recommendations will be made to have them resolved within the shortest time possible, Dr. Persaud stated.
The Medical Superintendent, Dr. Vasquez pointed out that there is an absence of key equipment such as x-ray machines, components for the ultrasound device and lab equipment.
The sterilisation machine is also reportedly not functioning 100 percent. It was noted that a ‘makeshift’ machine is being used to sterilise equipment.
Dr. Vasquez assured the committee that these items, and the needed fixtures have already been ordered and are about to be shipped to Guyana. She could not say when.
Quizzed about the supply of medication, Dr. Vasquez revealed that there is limited supply of insulin at the facility for patients. The drug is being reserved for emergency services she said.
Upon further inquiry, the MS stated that this has been the case for the last two months.
There is also a reported shortage of other painkillers such as Panadol however; she explained that other painkillers such as Ibuprofen can be used as an alternative.
Dr. Persaud told Kaieteur News that based on her assessment, the doctors are dedicated and are functioning at full capacity however; the issue she said, is the lack of the needed equipment and drugs to carry out their work effectively.
This, she said, is stymieing the facility to provide efficient and effective health care services to the large majority of citizens who depend on the hospital for daily services.
The opposition MP noted that all these observances will be taken into account when the report is being compiled to be presented to the National Assembly.
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