Shortage of staff, drugs plaguing Diamond Hospital

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The Diamond Diagnostic Centre continues to be plagued with operational issues with the facility reportedly facing staff shortages and lacks the basic services and equipment necessary to offer adequate medical services to members of the public.

Nurses attached to the East Demerara Regional Hospital reached out to INews complained that all of the operations of the hospital are being done by only a few nurses, who are left to multitask and are forced to work long hours beyond their shifts in order to get the work completed.

One of the nurses, who wished to remain anonymous due to fear of victimisation, told this publication that a majority of the staff of the hospital have been migrating to England through agencies soliciting medical personnel for overseas jobs while others have sought transfers to escape the “stressful” environment at the Diamond hospital.

Further, the nurses added that machines and other vital equipment have been out of order for an extended period of time despite several reports to the administration about seeking repairs.

Additionally, the nurses related that there is a major shortage of drugs and other medication at the institution and this greatly limits their ability to treat patients in need of medical attention.

The nurses contended that the Diamond hospital has a negative stigma attached. The blame for this, they insisted, should be placed at the feet of the administration that is responsible for ensuring the hospital is properly equipped with nurses, doctors, and supplies to perform its services effectively.

“People always have something negative to say about this [Diamond] hospital but it’s not our fault. We can only do so much. When patients come, sometimes we don’t have anything to treat them with… and other times, a doctor isn’t even on duty and they have to wait and people get agitated by these things. If we are taken care of and are properly supplied with the necessary tools, we can carry out our job efficiently”, one nurse posited.

This is not the first time staff are complaining about the condition of the East Bank medical facility. In fact, back in 2017, medical workers had staged a strike in order to have their concerns and issues addressed. This led to the Public Health Ministry and regional officials hosting a meeting with staff to iron out the matter.

That meeting was headed by then Junior Health Minister Dr Karen Cummings, who had noted that the main concern of the Ministry is to ensure that patients and staff are treated with care and respect at all health facilities throughout Guyana and that necessary systems should be in place to ensure that health services are provided in an unhindered manner.
The issues that affected the hospital at that time were the lack of security presence, non-functional sewerage systems and faulty electricity supply due to poor installation.