May 13, 2017 News
…over 400 surgeries cancelled because there was no anesthetic – Dr Persaud
What are the possibilities of a hospital getting its purchase so wrong that instead of procuring
a piece of equipment to drain fluids from a patient’s chest, the institution made a bizarre purchase of a submersible pump that is for industrial use.
Well this is exactly what happened at the New Amsterdam Hospital.
Instead of the institution buying a lumbar water seal that is used to drain fluids or a collection of blood when there is a trauma, an ‘astute’ official got the hospital a submersible pump.
At a press conference hosted at the opposition leader’s office last Thursday, Peoples Progressive Party Civic Member of Parliament Dr Vindhya Persaud made this disclosure.
When contacted, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the New Amsterdam Hospital Colin Bynoe said that the wrong equipment was bought since officials from the region’s tender board were responsible for the purchase.
Bynoe said that because tender board officials lack the necessary medical knowledge about the equipment, this was the reason for the mistake being made
However Dr Persaud said that while such an occurrence may sound laughable and difficult to believe, this was related to her when she along with a team of officials from the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Social Services (PSCSS) visited the Hospital.
Dr Persaud is of the view that incompetence and installing people who are ‘clueless’ about the health sector will certainly lead to situations such as buying a water pump instead of a medical seal.
Dr Persaud said that this is something that concerns her as a medical official, and it is worrying for the health sector.
She said that added to getting the wrong piece of equipment, the New Amsterdam Hospital is now faced with the situation where a number of machines and other equipment are inoperable.
According to Persaud, this state of affairs has been ongoing since last year and this is affecting the work of doctors in critical areas such as the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), emergency medicine and the Cardiac Unit.
She said the situation meant that doctors were unable to validate their clinical findings, because the laboratory could not operate due to non-functioning equipment.
Coupled with that, she said that the hospital cancelled over 400 surgeries because there was no anesthetic at that institution. She said this confirms that there is a chronic drug shortage across the country.
Additionally, Dr Persaud said doctors are now at their wits’ end to treat patients, because after diagnosing, there is hardly any medication to ensure that patients are correctly treated.
The PPP/C Member of Parliament said that what is very apparent is that there is a crippling countrywide drug shortage. Persaud said that when the hospital’s pharmacy was visited the situation was no different.
She said that there was a severe shortage of non-communicable disease medication, specifically for conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
Dr Persaud said that officials at the institution indicated that many of these concerns were brought to the attention of the hospital management but very little, if anything has been done.
While Persaud painted a bleak picture of what prevails at the Berbice medical facility, CEO Bynoe said that the last time Persaud and her committee visited was in March. He said many of the issues that she made reference to have been corrected, and that under the stewardship of the current Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence, improvements are moving apace.
He said that many of the issues plaguing that institution are what the current government has inherited from the previous PPP/C administration.
The CEO said that sole sourcing and prequalification no longer prevail at the hospital, and if there is a need for emergency supplies the necessary permission has to be sought from the Permanent Secretary.
Bynoe envisages that in two months’ time, drug shortages will be an issue of the past, and the hospital will have its full complement of medical supplies.
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