Barbadians are throwing support behind Government’s plan to have minor cases treated at the two polyclinics which are set to offer 24-hour services from June this year.
A Barbados TODAY team visited Bridgetown to gauge of what people thought of the move. The majority of those canvassed said they were on board with the change as they believe it would lead to shorter waiting times at the Accident and Emergency Division (A&E) of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).
Federica Matthews who has been a nurse in England for the past 54 years said while she supports minor cases being treated at the 24-hour polyclinics she believes some of the nursing staff who treat patients in Accident and Emergency should be trained in effective customer service techniques.
“I think that some of the nurses need a bit of education in how to handle patients. Some of them are nice but there are some who pull back the team. I do not want to cry it down because I had good care. ” she said.
A St Philip resident who wished to remain anonymous said while he is in favour of the 24-hour polyclinics he does not believe it would lead to shorter waiting times.
“It may not reduce the waiting time because when you go to the 24-hour clinic it may still be a waiting system,” he told Barbados TODAY.
A retired Christ Church resident said treating minor cases at the David Thompson Health and Social Services Complex, Glebe Land, St John and Sir Winston Scott Polyclinic in Jemmotts Lane, St Michael would ease the workload for doctors and nurses at the state-owned hospital.
Michael Taitt told Barbados TODAY it would be more convenient for people to go to the polyclinics in their catchment area for minor cases instead of venturing to the hospital.
“The changes in emergency and the two clinics are a great idea and it would ease up the long waits at the hospital as it may be more convenient to get to the clinics instead of the hospital. The best part about it is that the long waits are going to be cut,” he said.
A child care provider told Barbados TODAY that it was unrealistic to have the Accident and Emergency Department personnel treating both major and minor cases.
“A&E is only one department and it is unrealistic to expect that they would be able to handle all cases whether they are minor or major. It would take pressure from the hospital so they could deal with those emergency cases,” she said.
A mother of a special needs child who resides in St James said she is pleased with the hospital becoming more effective as she would have waited for hours in the hospital previously and subsequently had to seek private medical attention. She said Barbadians would not adhere to the request to go to the QEH only for emergencies.