After being bitten by my neighbour’s two dogs, I subsequently visited the New Amsterdam Hospital at 20:30hrs on Monday [October 28].
I observed there were eleven persons standing by the accident and emergency door, as they awaited their turn to see the doctor/s on duty.
I stood among the persons for approximately ten minutes and I observed that no one was either exiting or entering the building.
Being curious, I moved to the door in an attempt to open it, so as to catch a quick peek of what was happening indoors. To my surprise the door did not budge. I turned the handle to the left and to the right, still it remained unopened.
A young man standing nearby, said “Lady, dem lock the door”.
Wondering why, I peeked through an open window where I saw the nurses ‘just gaffing’, or so it seemed to me. On peeping through that window I had expected to see a badly injured person, blood spattered on the floor, transfusion and infusion being administered, but I saw none of those things.
I then moved from the window, and enquired from the security guard who was standing nearby whether I could gain medical attention by accessing another door within the hospital, as I had been bitten by dogs and was experiencing nausea.
After receiving the ‘green light’, I proceeded into the hospital, and was about to enter the door which would have allowed me entrance into the accident and emergency unit when a nurse approached, saying, “Yes, is what you want?”. Repeating what I had told the security, she responded. “Well, you gat to go outside and wait with dem people”.
However, as the conversation continued and it seemed as though I was not getting through to the nurse, a young female doctor approached and opted to address my medical concern.
As I was seated, I observed that a toddler, was perched high, after she had earlier vomited on the floor. Her mother, who I knew along with her grandmother were nearby. The spattered stomach contents they said had been on the floor almost half an hour. [This was the reason for the locked door.]
It was during this period that the nurses were complaining about shortages such as gauze, and of an attempt to go on a local telecast to air their grievance, when they [three] broke out suddenly in a ‘catcha’, whilst feeling each other’s breast.
The pain from the animal bites, distracted me somewhat as I did not reply immediately to the question of the doctor.
“What do you do for living”, she enquired. After disclosing my profession, she replied, “O my God, please don’t let this [the nurses’ behaviour] hit the press”.
I did not give any promise. I simply smiled, as I thought of the persons who were waiting for God knows how long, to seek medical help, while those who are paid to deliver health care, play ‘catcha’.
May God help us all.