On average, the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) sees about 110 people per day.
And officials are hoping that with the donation of two ultrasound machines and advanced training of the doctors in that department, waiting time should be reduced. The Broadway to Barbados Charitable Trust in association with the Massy Foundation and the Government of Israel yesterday announced a $116,900 donation to the health services.
The gift came in the form of supply packs, two ultra sound machines, and training in ultra sound use of 28 doctors in A&E and two from the department of internal medicine.
Addressing a media conference at the hospital, Minister of Health John Boyce said the ultrasound machines and training of the doctors should result in more timely intervention and more accurate diagnoses in the areas medicine requiring ultrasound use.
The training of the doctors will take place over the next two weeks by two physicians from the Rambam Hospital in Israel.
“Very frequently ultrasonography can be lifesaving in the fast and uncertain climate of an accident and emergency unit,” Boyce said.
“As with any good diagnostic technology, the training of the health care team both in the use of this equipment and the interpretation of the results is important. I am pleased that this programme also provides a holistic package that supports the training of members of the health care team on the fundamentals of bedside ultrasonography so that timely medical and surgical interventions will be made,” he added.
The minister revealed that the department received an average of 40,000 visits per year, 25 per cent of whom are admitted.
“Another 20 to 25 per cent of cases which comes to the accident and emergency department do not necessarily require urgent care, and 15 per cent of those have no diagnostic requirements,” Boyce said.
In addition, he reported that information from the A&E department indicated that about 20 to 25 per cent of all acute care admissions were for asthma.
“It is therefore hoped that ultrasonography can be used as an adjunct during the triage process so that fewer urgent cases will be seen in the accident and emergency department and treated in the less urgent care settings or our nine strategically placed polyclinic across the island.”
An upbeat Boyce expressed gratitude for the assistance to the QEH, saying that he was satisfied that a number of Barbadians continued to donate both cash and equipment to the medical institution.
“We will therefore continue to use all avenues at our disposal to ensure that the health care needs of our population are met. This will include fostering relationships with non-governmental organizations, service clubs and the business sector, so that resources could be pooled together to adequately address the varying health care demand of our citizens,” Boyce said.