Operations resumed at the Winston Scott Polyclinic following its closure last week after nurses walked off the job protesting security breaches.
From as early as 11.a.m. there were people patiently waited outside the Jemmotts Lane, St Michael clinic to receive medical attention. Among them were parents with babies, school children, elderly persons and people waiting to have prescriptions filled at the pharmacy.
Just after 11:30 a.m. the first five patients walked into the facility and were subjected to a bag search and body scans by Government security guards.
A representative from the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) who wanted to remain anonymous said they are in favour of the new security measures but would like the issues concerning the fast-track service to be addressed.
“The union is satisfied, the nurses and the staff are satisfied. There are just a few measures that need to be put in place like the wrought iron on the doors. Right now, we know that the patients are coming in are being scanned. We are satisfied that the measures put in place are working. We need to work out the details of the fast-track evening shift from 3-10 p.m. Once those details are covered, I think the nurses will be much more comfortable with the arrangement,” he said.
Patients at the polyclinic told Barbados TODAY they were pleased with the heightened security.
Retired University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus security guard who identified herself as Esther said the changes at the Jemmott’s Lane clinic should have been implemented years ago as nurses have to deal with irate patients who engage in misconduct on the premises.
“It should be something like that every since. You would find that people come in here and they are arguing and want to fight in a Government place where they come to get medical treatment that is free. If they had to go where they would have to pay, they would not have [behaved] this way,” she said.
Retired Psychiatric Hospital employee, Malcom Blackman said the new security measures were running smoothly but he wondered if they were going too far in response to two isolated instances.
“The majority of people who are here are elderly, children who you do not consider a threat. I believe the answer to it would be having regular police patrols but the people who are really using this clinic are not a threat. I wonder if it is an over reaction. I don’t know.” he said.
A patient, Rocky said he welcomed the new security measures since he felt very safe after hearing the about the situations that led to the closure of the clinic last week Thursday.
Self-employed Johnia Bisette was not in favor of the new security changes. In fact she said the system did not cater to members of the elderly who required immediate attention.
“I do not like the system they have now because they have a lot of elders who came here who needed to sit down right away. They should have a different way but I cannot make the decision for them,” she said.