Minister of Public Health Dr. George Norton has expressed disappointment with the state of the Mahaicony Hospital.
After listening to the complaints from the health care providers at the institution and having a firsthand tour of the facility recently, GINA said the Minister said that he was very disappointed to see that employees have to carry out their functions under such awful conditions.
The cleaners at the facility complained about inadequate cleaning products and the lack of protective gear.
The Sterilisation Department’s air condition unit is falling to pieces, and the X-ray Department has never had a processor for films since its setting up thus patients are given the X-ray to dry, sometimes by a fan or in the sunlight.
GINA said that patients are also being given food that is bought from a cook shop, because the kitchen has not been functioning since 2006.
Addressing the health workers, the Minister said that he “cannot understand why the staff endured the situation … I cannot imagine the male and female washrooms are together.”
He lamented that, “This facility is going backward not forward,” as he pointed out that a few years ago, there was a functioning theatre and today there is not.
Further, the Minister said there is a new neonatal unit, but it has no entrance; and to enter the unit, one has to make his/her way through the male in-patient ward.
Norton said he wished that the hospital can be run by a board of directors, or a committee, made up of ordinary people. He committed to visiting the facility more frequently and to ensure that the situation changes. “We will come and visit you more often, because I feel you have been neglected… let us look towards a better situation and work together,” said.
GINA said that he also commended the staff for their dedication to their job, and for their efforts in continuing to work at the facility despite the conditions.
Meanwhile at the Fort Wellington Hospital, the Minister said the issue of limited water resources is worrisome and one that will soon be addressed.
“The availability of water at this hospital is an issue which needs to be looked at as soon as possible, because this is a factor which is hindering the operations at the hospital,” Norton stated.
He was also disappointed that the hospital’s theatre is not functional, and he urged the Regional Health Officer (RHO) Dr.Gavin Persaud, “to try his best to get the theatre up and running as soon as possible.”
Further, GINA said that the Hospital’s Rehabilitation Department is in need of additional equipment to carry out its function more effectively. “While there are facilities here that are in need of more equipment, there are some which need to be used more, such as the Audiology Department,” he said.