PSC says Diamond Diagnostic Centre plagued with drug shortages, other issues


…plans to summon Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence to answer questions 

A visit by members of the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee (PSC) on Social Services to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre has led to the discovery of shortages of drugs and a long list of other issues.

Head of the PSC, Dr. Vindhya Persaud says the visit was aimed at assessing how members of the public access emergency health care and to observe the conditions under which patients are cared for at that facility.

Following hours of detailed discussions with hospital staff and management, Dr. Persaud concluded that the hospital is facing a serious shortage of medical drugs and supplies.

“The common message we are hearing all the way through is that there are severe shortages. Things like sterile goves, medications, injections, there are a lot of shortages here. So many that they are frustrated because they see the patients suffering, like one doctor lamented that he was not able to control his hypertension and diabetic patients because he cant treat them,” she said.

A doctor explaining to the PSC members some of the problems facing the hospital

The Opposition Member of Parliament posited that the public is suffering because while some people can afford to purchase their drugs, many others are not financially capable.

“Overall, people are struggling to make ends meet so when you put that additional burden of health on them, now they’re taxing health care, so if they go to the private system, they’re paying 14 percent on health care at private systems so it’s something that I think the government needs to seriously look at and at this level, in terms of the parliamentary committee, we will definitely be going that road because I think we can’t continue with one and a half years of shortages and we’re looking further because of poor management and poor planning in the health care systems,” she explained.

Dr. Persaud says that the hospital is currently without an administrator and that responsibility has now shifted to a doctor, which in her view is unacceptable.

“As you see there is construction, there are many decisions to be made, there are many things to be addressed. If you don’t have an administration how are you going to properly function. You’re taking away from that doctor’s hours of delivering healthcare,” she asserted.

PSC members meeting with a patient who recently delivered her baby at the facility

The PSC has already visited the New Amsterdam hospital, where drug shortages, among other problems were also discovered.

The Committee plans to visit Linden, Suddie and Georgetown Hospitals in the near future.

At the conclusion of these visits, the Committee will compile a comprehensive report to be submitted to Parliament for discussion.

The PSC also plans to summon Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence to answer questions relating to the poor conditions and other issues facing these health facilities.


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