Medical practitioners concerned about shortage of medical supplies at hospital
A chronic shortage of essential medical supplies at the island’s premier health care institution has forced doctors into emergency mode.
The ongoing situation has reached such a critical point that the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) and the Junior Doctors Association (JDA) fear the state of affairs could compromise the level of care which their members can provide at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).
“Obviously it will have an impact on the way that we are able to give care to patients and the way that we are able to provide the best possible care for the patients at the hospital,” BAMP public relations officer Dr Linda Williams told Barbados TODAY.
The medical practitioners are so worried about the likely adverse impact on patients and doctors that representatives of the two organizations are due to meet in a joint emergency session tomorrow at the QEH to determine the way forward.
“The main focus of the meeting is the recurring shortages in the hospital rather than just the current problem . . . The most critical area I would have to say is the shortage of essential supplies and other concerns as well, but the problem is recurring. As you know we have spoken on this issue before and the doctors are quite concerned about the fact that we have shortages that get fixed and then maybe a few weeks or months later we are back in the same situation again,” added Dr Williams.
The BAMP PRO is also concerned about the constraints the shortages would have on medical practitioners.
She pointed out that the emergency meeting had been requested by members who, from all indications, have run out of patience.
Only about four months ago, BAMP held an emergency meeting to discuss the same shortage of basic and essential medical supplies at the hospital, which, it said, had reached crisis level.
Back then, BAMP president Dr Carlos Chase had also put the public on notice that doctors would only be performing emergency procedures and surgeries and pleaded with the Government to urgently provide the necessary supplies to serve the patients at the hospital.
The doctors are not the only key stakeholders who have sounded the alarm over operations at the QEH.
The hospital’s chief executive officer Dr Dexter James is also on record recently describing the situation in the Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department as a crisis, which posed a serious threat to the lives of patients in need of urgent health care.
James had said then that the A&E Department was overwhelmed with a number of non-emergency patients “flooding” the QEH every day for treatment.
He had also explained that in a bid to ease the pressure on the A&E, hospital authorities were working on a “fast-track” system for persons in need of “diagnostic investigation”.