Minister of Health Dr Bheri Ramsaran yesterday said that his ministry and personnel at the Dr CC Nicholson Hospital were “pained by the experience” in a report first carried in Monday’s edition of this newspaper that a barber had to deliver a baby since there was no staff at the aforementioned hospital.
He also said that the ministry would be “be looking into the report of the Stabroek News as the hospital has been successful in its operations since it re-commenced in 2010,” a GINA release stated.
On Saturday night last barber Devon Sam, who operates his business at Nabaclis, a few yards away from the hospital, was forced to deliver a baby boy after there was no one to attend to the mother at the hospital, and the parents stopped at his business place seeking help.
Nandy Collins, the mother recounted, on Monday, a harrowing experience in which she almost gave up on the birth of her first son. She had begun having labour pains around 8 pm on Saturday at her Ann’s Grove home and was headed to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) in the city but because of excruciating pains stopped short at Nabaclis.
When she and her husband arrived at the hospital, there was no one on duty. In desperation, her husband began seeking assistance from persons living along the streets leading to the hospital, while his wife cried out in pain. He stopped at the barber’s to ask if he knew of any midwife or nurse and their son chose that instant to enter the world.
The quick thinking barber delivered the baby as the panicked husband looked on and Collins was subsequently taken to the GPH.
Ramsaran, meanwhile, provided extensive data on the successes of the hospital, but did not address the issue of the hospital being abandoned on Saturday night.
“The CC Nicholson Hospital has been upgraded … it has now been brought back to the level of a hospital after monies would have been invested by the CC Nicholson Foundation, UK, and government,” said Ramsaran as he stated that critical areas of the hospital had been rehabilitated.
However, in a letter, seen by Stabroek News, Region Four Chairman Clement Corlette blasted the Regional Executive Officer for not communicating with him about the numerous complaints made by the District Medical Officer/Regional Health Office responsible for the ECD. The DMO had said that no midwife was available at the medical institution on Saturday night due to a medical field day at the hospital, in which the entire medical staff participated.
Corlette said the office of the REO, which has responsibility for the upkeep of the hospital, was informed repeatedly about the state of the hospital. He expressed concern over the situation, adding that the Regional Administrative Committee of Region Four was never informed of the poor state of the hospital.
Stabroek News understands that there are several problems facing hospital, including a shortage of accredited/registered midwives. Reports are that two recently trained midwives at the hospital are unable to perform their midwifery duties since they have not been registered. There are also reports that the midwife quarters at the hospital has been in a state of disrepair for some time.
These reports contradict what the health minister statement: “The doctors’ quarters was repaired… now two doctors live there… the Medex quarters was up a few months ago… occupied by a Medex\Midwife who had since — with the arrival of two doctors been returned to Essequibo…
“There is also an ambulance attached to the hospital should there be need to defer a patient.”
Collins, her husband, the barber and some residents informed that on Saturday evening there was no ambulance at the hospital as such the woman had to be taken, after delivery, to the GPH via taxi.