As health authorities continue to grapple with a backlog of COVID-19 cases, a plea has come from one Barbadian for priority to be given to persons who are sick.
Monique Archer is contending that the Government’s new categorization method is not working, having seen her husband wait six days for the results of his COVID-19 test while being held in an isolation room in the Accident and Emergency Department (A&ED).
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, Archer made it clear it was not her intention to “point fingers” at Government, who she said was doing a good job in battling the pandemic.
However, she said there needed to be an immediate change in the method used to determine who would receive test results first.
Archer said after feeling unwell her 52-year-old husband opted to be tested for COVID-19 last Thursday.
However, after his condition did not improve over the weekend and after consultation with the family doctor, a decision was made to take him to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
“Everything was really well done. We were met, they looked out for our licence plate and he was taken into a room. I waited for a few hours while they did their tests and then eventually the blood work came back and his oxygen levels were not normal.
“So naturally given the worry about COVID they put him into one of the rooms there,” she said.
Archer said despite his condition, no COVID-19 test results were forthcoming.
“So he was there on oxygen and from that day that he got in there, they started pressing the lab for his results for the test that had been done since Thursday and they couldn’t get it, so I was getting really frustrated, his doctor was getting frustrated and QEH was getting frustrated,” she said.
“We couldn’t get any response and you have someone that is sick on oxygen and you want to know if they have COVID because if they have COVID then they can be admitted to Harrison’s Point, they can be treated and get the medication they need to get better. You don’t want them sitting in limbo ill and they can’t be treated because nobody knows what direction to go and that’s basically the position A&E is being put in.
She revealed that her husband’s frustration led to him posting a video on social media today explaining his situation.
Archer said it was only after that video was posted that his results were finally provided.
She maintained that throughout the episode at A&E, the nurses and staff provided exceptional service to her husband.
Archer said even though it was announced at a recent press conference by Prime Minister Mia Mottley that a new categorization method would be used to help with the backlog it was apparently not working.
She recommended that the names of sick persons be submitted so that their results could be processed as a matter of urgency.
“On Saturday they announced that but it’s not working. If A&E at the QEH can’t get results from the lab there is a problem.
“To me, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Just get a list of the names of people in the hospital to the lab and get those people’s results coming out first. I know for a fact that my husband tested at Maurice Byer on Thursday and did not get back his results until today and I know people that tested privately last week Thursday and they are not sick and they got back their results yesterday morning so how is there a priority system?” Archer questioned.