Doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital say the current situation facing the island’s premier medical facility is at crisis stage, with hospital management and representatives of the Board informing them today that the QEH would, with immediate effect, only be performing urgent and emergency surgeries.
“It can not be business as usual. We believe that the short term financial injection [or] supplements have failed to rectify the serious situation that exists at the QEH and we urge the Government to immediately restore adequate levels of funding in order to prevent harm to our patients,” Dr Vikash Chatrani, the first Vice President of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) told journalist following an emergency meeting this evening of BAMP.
“[They] confirmed the QEH is experiencing critical shortages in basic and essential supplies. As a result of these critical shortages, BAMP was informed that the QEH will only be performing urgent and emergency surgical procedure with immediate effect.
“Our members are very concerned that the standard of medical care has been compromised as a result of these shortages.
“These challenges extend beyond the surgical and affect the four ICUs [the Neo-natal, Pediatric, Medical and Surgical Intensive Care Units], the Accident and Emergency Department, Laboratory and Imaging Services,” Dr Chatrani added.
He noted that it was now difficult to provide the standard of care that was required at the institution.
“So when somebody comes in and has a problem whether they come to Accident and Emergency, whether they come to the operating theatre, we do not have the resources to give them the standard of care they deserve as Barbadian citizens,” Chatrani said.
His comments were echoed the President of BAMP, Dr Carlos Chase.
Going more in depth into the extent of the shortage, Dr Chase explained that critical medical supplies such as sutures, gloves, linens, and blood gasses were not available.
“We don’t have the proper equipment . . . we don’t have the CT scan to diagnose you properly. We can’t treat you if the ICU can’t ventilate you properly, so it is not us [BAMP] telling you anything. We are just saying that this is happening and we are concerned and we want the Government to restore the levels so we can move on and treat our patients.
“ . . . In other words, if you get a cut we have to stitch you up with a suture. There are no sutures. We have to use the sutures for the people who are in an urgent situation. We can’t do elective surgeries because if we do that, for example, when a little child comes to have its appendix [removed] then you can’t treat them properly. When someone comes with a stroke, you can’t do the imaging to treat them properly that is what it means,” Chase explained.
BAMP’s second Vice President Chaynie William explained that while the Accident and Emergency Department still had the capacity to deal with all life threatening scenarios, they were still challenged, and as a result, the standard of care has been affected.
So far, the hospital’s management has not responded to the doctors’ claims.