[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Public Health Dr. George Norton is continuing his assessment of various health facilities in Guyana and on June 19, he visited the Skeldon Hospital, East Berbice, Corentyne, Region Six, which is currently undergoing massive renovation and remodelling.
The Minister was given a complete tour of the institution along with a briefing of the plans for the new structure. As a part of its remodelling, a new theatre, with a recovery room and an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), has been constructed.
This department is expected to commence operation as soon as it receives a few minor pieces of equipment which are still to be procured. Meanwhile, a new Accident and Emergency (A&E) Unit was also constructed and the current unit will be converted into a Diabetic Foot Center.
In addition, the receptionist area will be used as the specialist clinic room. After his tour of the facility, the Minister interacted with the staff and listened to their complaints.
It was highlighted that there is no functional ambulance stationed at the hospital, which makes it very difficult for patient transfers. Shortage of staff is also causing some level of frustration among the employees, as there are only five doctors who man the entire building, while at the same time, they conduct clinics and ‘run’ the wards.
The same situation obtains with the nurses and midwives, who have to work very long hours. The facility also does not have a vehicle to transport staff home when they are on late night duties.
The nurses and doctors also highlighted their dissatisfaction with living conditions, noting that the well is very dirty and worms and moss sometimes pass through their water taps.
There were also complaints about bat infestation in the ceiling of nurses’ hostel. The Minister pledged his full commitment to improving the situation, even as he urged them to continue doing their best.
This hospital serves approximately 45,000 people in its catchment area and provides care to an average of 200-250 persons on a daily basis. [Extracted and modified from GINA]