Berbicians protest state of New Amsterdam Hospital
…calls for removal of CEO
By Andrew Carmichael
Residents of New Amsterdam, Berbice and surrounding areas are calling on the Government to address the rapidly deteriorating condition at the New Amsterdam Hospital after an elderly patient died on Tuesday night after she was reportedly given nine injections.
Additionally, the residents are alleging that several critical pieces of equipment are out of order in addition to a shortage of basic medicine leaving them to come to the conclusion that the state of the institution’s affairs is not being properly managed. As a consequence, they are calling for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr
Samantha Kennedy’s immediate resignation.
The residents turned out in their numbers and staged a picketing exercise in front of the hospital’s compound while chanting “The CEO must go” for several hours as they marched to have their concerns addressed.
One of the major concerns for patients is the amount of time they spend in the Outpatient Unit. Some persons have reported that they have to wait for up to 15 hours before they can see a doctor, resulting in additional stress to their already worrying condition. Other patients have reported that they would leave the hospital without ever being examined by a physician because of the length of the waiting
Additionally, persons are reporting that school-aged children are no longer being viewed as a priority whenever they visit the Outpatient Unit since it is currently merged with the Accident and Emergency Unit. The move of merging the two units was reportedly implemented by the CEO which has caused a lot of issues due to the sheer lack of competence according to the patients.
Sheriann Beharry told this publication that her son suffered a broken arm at school on Monday and was taken to the New Amsterdam Hospital at about 13:00h.
“We were there from 1 O’clock till 4 O’clock. Then the CEO came and spoke with
one of the doctors and then next thing I know is that they give me the paper and say that I have to go outside and wait because the child is not an emergency,” she explained.
She further explained all of this was said and done while her child was in obvious pain in addition to his rapidly swelling arm.
“We were there from 4 O’clock after that until 9:30 (21:30h) the night then a doctor came and did the X-ray… It is very bad. From 1:00 that child cry for pain until 9:30 we leave the hospital. There were children there with fever and until one of them get a fit, then they look at the kid,” the woman related.
After the doctors would have tended to Beharry’s son’s arm they were told to return the following day to collect medication but when they returned they were shocked to discover that apart from paracetamol and vitamins the pharmacy lacked all the other prescribed medications. They had to visit a private pharmacy where they purchased the meds.
Meanwhile, Seepaul Ramlochan, whose brother’s body was left to decompose at the hospital’s mortuary, which was out of order was also on the picket line.
“Friday gone I was at the hospital. I came to see a doctor because I have a cyst on my neck and a nurse told me that I cannot see the doctor,” Ramlochan related.
One of the patients at the institution related that the previous week she was also there and told the doctor she was ordered to see that she had an injury. She added that without examining the injury, the doctor prepared an injection for her.
“So I ask the doctor what the injection was for and he told me that it was for pain; but I never told the doctor that I was feeling pain,” she related.
Sooroojdia Dookeram, 69, was taken to the New Amsterdam Hospital on Tuesday evening by her daughter Vlanis Ramkishan complaining of stomach pains. The grieving daughter is alleging that after they were able to see one of the doctors on duty, her mother was given five injections.
“He give her the injections without testing anything. Then she start to vomit and he give her two more… I ask him those two are for what and he say it is for the vomiting. After she get those two she start to flatter like a fowl and then he give her a bottle of saline with two more injection…she died,” Ramkishan recounted.
The family is calling for an investigation into Dookeram’s death.
Head of the Regional Health Committee, Zamal Hussain was also on the picket line. According to him, the new system of registering persons seeking health service is a cause for concern. He says the confusion and long delays is as a result of incompetence.
He said that the merging of the Outpatient with the Accident and Emergency Unit has resulted in persons having to wait for a longer time to receive medical attention. Hussain told this publication that the Ultrasound Machine at the medical facility is non-functional while there is a shortage of medical supplies.
Efforts by this publication to get a comment from the CEO of the hospital were futile.