Work ethic disappointing at GPHC’s maternity ward – Dr Norton

Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton has expressed his disappointment over the work ethic of doctors

Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton
Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton

and nurses at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) maternity ward after learning of a mother’s tragedy at the facility.
The mother who is still a patient at the maternity ward, along with her newborn, disclosed that the nurses had taken a blood sample from her newborn since last Wednesday but were yet to return the test results.
According to the mother (name withheld), when she enquired about her discharge from the facility, she was told by the doctor “she cannot leave the facility until the test results return”.
“It is since last Wednesday the blood sample was taken and up to now they can’t return the results. I ask the doctor when they are getting the results and he said he doesn’t know. I am in here a while, I want to go home,” the frustrated mother vented.
Speaking with Guyana Times on Monday, Minister Norton registered his disappointment and condemnation of the maternity unit officials.
“Despite all of the efforts being made to regularise the system at the health facilities, patients are still not being treated satisfactorily,” Dr Norton noted.
Further, he expressed his empathy with the mother and affirmed he will investigate the matter immediately.
The woman disclosed to this newspaper that she had a surgical delivery (Caesarean section) and suffers from hypertension, so she could not breastfeed her newborn.
“The newborn was supposed to be fed by the nurses with formula; however, the newborn was left hungry many times which gave the baby jaundice,” said the mother. She revealed she had called upon several nurses to feed her child, but was always made to wait.
According to the mother, when she enquired about her newborn “yellowness of complexion”, a doctor disclosed to her that this occurred because the “baby wasn’t fed adequately”.
A relative of the new mother has been made to purchase hypertension pills daily as prescribed by the doctor since the hospital does not have the drug.
Meanwhile, the Government has set aside $89 million in the 2016 National Budget for the development of the country’s premier health facility’s maternity unit.
The issue of mothers sharing beds at the medical institution still exists: Early in April, a photograph capturing a mother with her newborn under a bed surfaced in the media, prompting an investigation, but the hospital could not account for when it had occurred. The overcrowded maternity ward is in dire need of significant improvement, both in the infrastructure and the treatment given. Earlier in the month, Minister Norton had announced that the issue of mothers sharing beds would end soon as the facility is currently being extended and work should be completed by mid-May.
The new extension will house some 60 beds and a 17-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with table-top foetal heart-rate monitors and portable ultrasound machines, an operating theatre and soundproof rooms.
Minister Norton disclosed recently that there was also a shortage of midwives, as the hospital needed at least 200, but there were only 38 midwives presently at the facility.