Patients being ‘dumped’ on GPHC by other hospitals

-Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology Dep’t

Hospitals outside of the capital are “dumping their patients” at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), according to Head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department Dr Lucio Pedro, who has called for these institutions to be properly equipped to handle their workload.

Pedro made these comments during a press briefing held at the hospital on Thursday.

Pedro stated that the GPHC is burdened with cases because the “complicated” cases are all referred to the city hospital.

“Most of the hospitals outside here—West Demerara, Diamond, Suddie, New Amsterdam Hospital—they are not doing much. They are sending all the cases—difficult cases—to Georgetown Hospital. So we have to bear the brunt of all these complicated cases and when somebody comes here and dies, we are the ones who take the blame,” Pedro stated.

Dr Lucio Pedro

“Make sure that those hospitals work. They do their job. West Demerara Hospital closes at 5 o’ clock, so anything after 5 o’ clock is sent to Georgetown Hospital. So, we would like to make sure that those hospitals are equipped with things and personnel and do their job instead of dumping them to the Georgetown Hospital,” he added.

Dr Rafi Rozan also said that doctors deal with challenges every day. “…We have a lot of things happening with good outcomes. I guess as reporters you guys just hear about some of the main things that happen, but every single day Ob/Gyn saves lives. Every day you have patients with severe preeclampsia, eclampsia, which are life-threatening situations coming in shock, coma and so forth and they are actually resolved,” Rozan stated.

This is not the first time that concern has been voiced over the high number of referrals from other hospitals to the GPHC.

In May, during a visit to the GPHC by the parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Social Services, department heads cited the high volume of referrals to the facility as being one of the key issues impacting on the delivery of effective patient care and overcrowding.

Doctors pointed out that it was a challenge for them to tend to simple issues, which they said some regional hospitals are equipped to address.

Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Fawcett Jeffrey had stated that he would have liked to focus more on fixing fractures but had to cancel those plans because of the volume patients with fractures. He added that he is unhappy with the fact that hospitals such as the New Amsterdam Hospital would send a patient with a simple fracture for attention at the GPHC. He stressed that in the past the New Amsterdam Hospital was equipped to handle such cases, which were being referred.

Also blamed for the situation has been the practice by persons to go to the GPHC for treatment that is available at their community health centres.

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