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Hunt For 250 Bed Spaces

Discussion in 'latest News in Trinidad & Tobago' started by alexk, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. alexk

    alexk Guest


    North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) CEO Wendy Ali must find space at other institutions for the relocation of 250 patients previously housed at the Central Block of the Port-of-Spain General Hospital, as the Urban Development Corporation of T&T (Udecott) gets set to undertake critical remedial works on the building after it suffered damage during Tuesday’s 6.9 magnitude earthquake.

    But while Ali has put forward several proposals for the relocation exercise, Public Services Association president Watson Duke and former health minister Dr Fuad Khan have condemned the move.

    Following an assessment of the hospital on Wednesday, relocation of all the patients in the wing to other hospitals was deemed necessary and Udecott promised to have it repaired.

    Yesterday, Ali said the hospital had come up with several proposals, among them relocating patients to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Caura Hospital and Costaatt. She said they were also looking at operating the Haematology Department out of the St James Hospital, which had to be finalised.

    The EWMSC, Ali said, has been extremely supportive of the plan.

    “I have not set up anything outside of Port-of-Spain as of now. I, however, have stabilised eight patients that needed to be admitted at the hospital’s Accident and Emergency and they have been referred to Eric Williams for admissions. That is a temporary measure,” she told the T&T Guardian

    Ali said the NWRHA has been considering all possibilities available to them.

    “As we examine them ,which one presents the best solution we will accept,” she said, adding at this time the PoSGH has been continuing its services to patients in as efficient a manner as it can.

    “At this moment, we are decanting our third floor and as of now those persons are being housed within our institution,” she said, adding those patients were relocated to Wards One, Three, 15, 16 and 17.

    Ali said while the Caura Hospital had available bed space this facility was still being considered.

    “We will not move our patients until we are certain that the standard of care that they currently get will in no way be compromised. We have to be sure that all places are ready to receive patients,” Ali said.

    “This is not about picking up people and running down with them. This is not how we are approaching this exercise. This is not a long extended halt of services. This is just a period to decant Central Block. Once we have decanted everything will resume.”

    If patients are to be relocated, Ali said there must be an assurance that all services, equipment, dietary needs, pharmaceuticals, linen and resources are available to them. But she said the hospital had also not made a final decision on moving patients outside of Port-of-Spain.

    “When we do, persons will know what wards and caliber of patients we have decided to relocate and where.”

    Going forward, Ali said new wards will be created but could not say when as she was still awaiting a structural report from engineers on the building.

    On other aspects of the PoSGH’s operations, Ali said the maternity department has been functioning, while its five operating theatres have been performing only emergency surgeries. Elective surgeries have been cancelled. On Wednesday, Ali said the A&E Department attended to 177 patients.

    Asked how many patients are likely to be shifted from the Central Block, Ali said patients’ intake and discharge keep changing, but noted the hospital is “looking at approximately 250 patients that we would normally house.”

    Questioned if hospital administration had been looking at utilising the Costaatt building, Ali said while this institution fell under the purview of the Ministry of Education “there is some dialogue going on. I cannot speak to it. Once I have a decision I will communicate to the media.”

    She said her healthcare staff have been comforted by the fact that the hospital has been putting their health and safety first.

    Also contacted yesterday, Costaatt president Dr Gillian Paul said they were unable to give the NWRHA any information as to whether any of their facilities will be suitable for their purposes.

    “We are trying to get an understanding of how we have turned up on the radar screen somewhere that could take these patients. I didn’t understand how we surfaced as an option,” Paul said, admitting she was puzzled about how they could help the situation as all their campuses have full utilisation of classrooms.

    But former health minister Khan yesterday said he strongly believed Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh was inconveniencing and deliberately provoking hundreds of patients in an effort to reinforce a false narrative that the Central Block requires demolishing and reconstruction. Khan said based on Udecott’s report on examining the structure, there was little reason to relocate patients.

    “In fact, Deyalsingh is causing more pain and suffering for those patients than they would have sustained during any of the earthquakes experienced over the past three days,” Khan said.

    Duke also argued that shifting patients to other hospitals would result in overcrowding on wards, while he insisted that the hospital’s health care workers should be transferred to the Couva Hospital to perform their duties

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