Col­lapse of Sud­die Hospi­tal roof ev­i­dence of con­tin­u­ing ne­glect

-Health Com­mit­tee chair­man

Stabroek News Sunday - - LETTERS -

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.

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.

Ru­pert Hop­kin­son

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