Collapse of Suddie Hospital roof evidence of continuing neglect

-Health Committee chairman

Doctors and nurses at the Suddie Hospital are being forced to carry out emergency surgeries in a “shaky and unsafe makeshift” theatre, where renovations are ongoing following the collapse of the roof last month.

This is according to Arnold Adams, Chairman of the Regional Health Committee for Region Two, who called the collapse of the roof an example of how public health is being neglected in the region.

In a telephone interview yesterday, Adams chided Regional Executive Officer (REO) Rupert Hopkinson for his “slothfulness” in addressing the existing issues. He related that the problems at the Suddie Hospital have been longstanding and though recommendations have been made to the REO repeatedly, efforts to address them were either limited or non-existent.

Rupert Hopkinson

Adams said that the roof of the theatre had been deteriorating for some time now and reports were made to the REO to have it rectified, but nothing was done.

“I have brought it up with the REO and the hospital itself but no one seems to be concerned with health in Region Two. About two months ago I organised a visit to the hospital and invited councillors from both political parties, after which I drafted and submitted a report to the REO, Regional Chairman, Deputy Regional Chairman and Councillors with recommendations, but to date nothing has been done,” he said.

“The REO has not attempted to engage me in any way to discuss the report and things continue to go wrong at the hospital,” Adams said, before referring to a non-functional generator that had reportedly at one point in time created a situation where doctors and nurses were forced to perform a surgery with the aid of torchlights.

“We need a generator there. It’s been over a year now since the generator there has stopped working and we need to make health a priority and buy a new generator because we cannot continue to depend on GPL,” he added.

Adams did not stop there though, as he alluded to the lack of availability of drugs in the region, which he says continues to hamper medical outreaches in riverain areas.

“We had to stop doing outreaches four months now, because we don’t have drugs to take into those areas, and coupled with that is the fact that there is no transportation available for persons to go into those areas,” he said.

“We have doctors and nurses who are willing to work but they don’t have the resources… we are even referring more patients to Georgetown than we should. We are capable of doing so much more in Region Two,” Adams lamented.

A similar statement was made by the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) Chairman Devanand Ramdatt, who in an invited comment said, “Several health related matters have been raised with REO Hopkinson, and however, he has not been proactive in addressing these key matters, much to the dissatisfaction of the RDC.”

Attempts to contact both the Ministry of Public Health and the Regional Executive Officer for a comment proved to be futile.

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