GPHC lab needs to offer better service

Dear Editor,
I am a patient of one of the clinics at the Georgetown Public Hospital, and I am writing to highlight one of the biggest problems affecting my experience (and many of the other patients) with the clinics. It concerns the Georgetown Public Hospital Lab.
During my many years visiting the hospital as I became ailing with age, I have encountered many problems with the lab. Most of the time, most of the tests are not available to be done at the lab, and must be done privately at the cost of several thousand dollars.
Recently, my doctor ordered some blood tests to be done before my clinic date. However, when I came to the hospital on the date scheduled by the lab to draw the blood sample, I was told that the machine broke down and they cannot do the test. It was very inconvenient and distressing for me, as I had fasted for several hours for the blood test. This is a regular occurrence with lab tests for many people like me, who come from outlying regions and have to pay hefty fares.
As a pensioner, I cannot afford to pay passage from Berbice to Georgetown just to be told that the machine is broken down and they cannot do the test. Can’t they do better? They collect our phone numbers to fill out their forms, can’t patients be contacted that there is a problem before they waste their time and money to come to the hospital?
And don’t expect an ounce of sympathy from the lab staff regarding such situations. On this and several occasions, I have experienced so much hard looks and rudeness that one would think that the lab staff were the ones who were the ones inconvenienced. I know that we in Guyana are far behind other countries in terms of hospitality training, but I think that even we can manage to treat others with a bit of civility.
Our healthcare system is supposed to be a free healthcare system, but with every visit to the hospital, I seem to be paying more and more, whether it is that I am paying for medications, blood tests or ultrasounds.
I beg whoever is in charge to please look into this matter. I will not put my name for fear of being victimised.

A tired patient