The Industry Health Centre opens at 8am and closes at 4pm
The management of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation wishes to respond to the questions and statements raised in a letter to the editor of the Stabroek News under the caption, ‘What are the opening and closing times of the health centres on the East Coast Demerara?’ (June 27).
These questions and complaints were:
1. What are the opening and closing times of the three health centres on the East Coast Demerara?
2. Most days of the week these health centres are already closed for the latter part of the working day or will have just one administrative health worker who is not a doctor ‘holding on’ until four o’clock.
3. Doctors arrive mid-morning and leave a few hours later, sometimes before attending to patients.
4. Patients would arrive early in the morning and may see a doctor before 11am; if one goes at 8am he/she would not have a chance to see the ‘busy’ doctor; one would be told by the clerk at the desk “Come back tomorrow.”
5. Some doctors can been seen or met at their private clinics at their homes any time – at a charge though.
The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation is responding to these questions and statements because one of the three health centres mentioned falls under the management of the hospital – Industry Health Centre. The hospital also manages the Kitty and Campbellville Health Centres and the Enmore Polyclinic.
Firstly, it is not certain to which period this author would have been referring; however, GPHC assumed management of Industry Health Centre on March 1, 2011 and ever since, the centre has been commencing its operations at 08:00h daily. The building is opened and the nursing staff arrive as early as 07:30h; patients however arrive as early as 05:30h to get an early number.
Secondly, the four aforementioned health centres end their operations at 16:00h. Unless in the event of a dire emergency, no doctor will leave that health centre without having seen his/her patients or unless a replacement is sent to cover the day. In the event that this occurs, the general public is advised to contact the office of the Chief Executive Officer or the Human Resources Depart-ment on telephone numbers 226-1835 or 227-8205, respectively.
Thirdly, it is unclear what is meant by an “administrative health worker who would hold on until four”; only the doctor(s) and nurses see patients and administer treatment – vaccination or medication and as was previously stated, these staff members work until 16:00h.
It must also be noted that the doctors attached to these four health centres are full-time staff of the corporation and should they conduct any private practice, this would be so done after 16:00h and would therefore not impede on the provision of their service at their respective health centres. Again, management advises that patients inform the administration promptly should the contrary be observed.
Fourthly, the staff at the Industry Health Centre see and treat a minimum of 50 patients per day. Patients sometimes amount to over 70 on busier days – Tuesdays and Fridays – when the Chronic Illness and General Outpatient Clinics are held, respectively. This would, on a few occasions, have resulted in the staff requesting that patients return the following day to be seen by a doctor; however, management promptly addressed this problem by assigning an additional doctor to assist on these days to treat the overwhelming number of patients that seek medical attention.
It is noteworthy that patients travel from as far as Beterverwagting and Success, ECD to access the service of the Industry Health Centre and these patients are accommodated although they fall outside the catchment area.
Public Relations Office