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A case of stretched resources

Doctors know that if a problem is diagnosed incorrectly, one of the outcomes may be that the prescriptions for cure may kill the patient. I wonder if this may not obtain with the problem of elderly abandonment at the QEH.

There is a story about International Business Machines that is appropriate here. It is said that once IBM determined that to make a move forward it needed to see itself as a producer of business machines rather than of typewriters. It could then include the humble stapler among its additional products that had higher demand.

If the problem is seen as overcrowding of QEH rather than more generally as stretched resources, managers may come to the conclusion I just heard in the news, call in the police [To clear beds?]. That could kill the abandoned elderly even if they go back “home”.

A diagnosis of stretched resources may instead engender calling in the courts to put liens on wages, national insurance, tax returns, etc to support persons until they can be appropriately resited; getting the Barbados Association of Retired Persons to extend its considerable resources of money and expertise to help with solutions of a retired persons crisis; creating QEH and Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners-sponsored patient care programmes that can be done at home; creating television and radio education programmes that return the power of self care from physicians to ordinary people; and so on.

I do hope they don’t just call in the police. There may not be a crime here, more a failing of responsibility by several agents. People could die or worse, suffer badly before they die.

— Margaret D. Gill

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