Investigation completed on 5-year-old child’s death

…77 complaints received on new MoH hotline

The Health Ministry has completed its investigation into the recent death of a five-year-old girl at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and the report will soon be released to the public.
While information on the circumstances surrounding the child’s death has been limited, this publication understands that she was being treated for an asthma attack at the West Demerara Regional Hospital (WRDH) hours before she was transferred.
After the death of the child, the incident was investigated by a high-level team. The Chief Medical Officer’s report was since presented to Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony.

The West Demerara Regional Hospital

“This report, like others, will be released to the public as soon as the Ministry has reviewed it,” a statement outlined on Saturday.
The Ministry has reported that referrals from WDRH has reduced by 87 percent when compared to 2020. Since the beginning of 2023, the WDRH has been playing a greater role in assisting GPHC to manage critical care babies.
“Often, the NICU at GPHC cannot accommodate additional critical care babies since the NICU is more than 100% occupied. Presently, the WDRH manages between 20 and 30 critical care neonates per month. WDRH has been ably assisting to take off the load from GPHC.”
In the meanwhile, recognising a number of shortcomings at the West Demerara Hospital, it was announced that changes are being made to address the concerns. A number of practices that affect quality at the hospital have been discontinued.
One of the challenges facing the overall health sector has been the institutionalisation of patient-friendly services. While significant improvement has been achieved, the sector continues to be challenged by inappropriate behaviour by a small number of staff members.
For this reason, a hotline was operationalised in April 2023. The number is 227-4357.
Since then, there have been 77 complaints, with 65 addressed and 12 pending.
Similarly, the GPHC has several hotlines for complaints which are immediately sent to the Chief Executive Officer, the Director of Medical and Professional Services and the Director of Nursing, for action.
The numbers at the GPHC are 226-6249, 227-8210, 227-8241, 227-8245 (extension 1148) and 701-4742 (WhatsApp).
“We urge that persons utilise these numbers to let us know of problems they encounter in the health sector. In addition, the GPHC has an office by the entrance painted bright orange for in-person complaints concerns. While we see some complaints in social media and sometimes in the printed media, none of these ever has been the subject of a call to the hotline. The Minister of Health has instructed that a monthly report on hotline complaints and actions taken must be made public as of November 2023,” the Health Ministry added. (G12)