Aug 06, 2020 News Comments Off on $1.6B Ocean View hospital an “absolute disaster”
– full investigation to be carried out – Health Minister, Dr. Anthony
Newly appointed Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony has coined the recently-commissioned Ocean View Infectious Diseases Sanatorium “an absolute disaster” and as his opening mandate
as Health Minister, he is vowing that a full investigation will be carried out.
Anthony, subsequently after his appointment, told the media that the Ocean View Hospital is “literally a shell”, adding that what the previous administration did was refurbished a building but not much else.
“One would have thought that the facilities would have been there but what you have is a space and there is nothing else,” the new Health Minister said.
What is worse and according to him “almost criminal” was the designation of sections of the Hospital for the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
“An ICU,” he explained “would require certain basic minimum standards so for example oxygen…that oxygen would have to be piped in through the walls, which means that in the construction of that building, you needed to have pipes laid into the wall so that the oxygen can come in.”
But all that was done, Dr. Frank Anthony said, was that a section was designated for the ICU but all the necessary pipes to funnel the needed oxygen is visibly missing.
The Health Minister pointed out that the hospital also has a “suction issue” and while it was designed to handle the intake of high dependency Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients, the facility cannot deal with them.
Another additional problem he said that has to be investigated is the air circulation in the building.
He explained “because one of the problems you have with an infectious diseases hospital,
you have to limit the air flow within the rooms…because if we are not careful, then you can have cross contamination within the building itself.”
What is more alarming, Dr. Anthony added, was that the hospital was built but no plan was in place to acquire the human resources needed.
“The former President launched this hospital- there’s no staffing structure in place; the doctors who would be working there, none of them have been told, and they don’t know where they are coming from.”
At a minimum, he stated, at least 20 doctors would be needed for the hospital, none of which is in place because of the current shortage of medical staff due to the pandemic.
The cost for construction, according to Dr. Anthony, is also cause for major concern and even more alarming, he said, was the cost to equip the building.
Former Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence, had put the price to acquire the needed equipment for the sanatorium at “three times” the $1.6 billion construction cost.
That is something the new government would have to find.
“In terms of medical equipment, you would need things like ventilators, none of that is there as I said- we have a shell, and if we are going to be able to utilize that, then we would have to do some more renovations, to put in these things like oxygen and centralized suction and all of that. Plus, we would have to buy all the equipment in terms of beds, ventilators, the consumables and a whole a host of things,” he said.
While the previous government had birthed the idea of an Infectious Diseases Hospital due to the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating that Guyana would deal with an influx of COVID-19 patients, it is believed that it would take a long time before the hospital is prepared to begin their intake of high dependency patients.
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