Categorized | National News

Bed Shortage At PMH Worst Ever

A serious case of bed shortage at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) is the worst it has been in years and forced officials to put elective surgery on hold.

Informing the public of this decision at a press conference on Friday, Hospital Administrator Mary Walker said that the issue of bed shortage at the primary health care facility is at its worst in years.
“In all my years here, this is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” Ms. Walker confirmed.

Ms. Walker said that in the hospital’s attempt to “make room” for patients ‘virtual wards’ had to be opened.

“We have to open what we call virtual wards which were decommissioned spaces that were waiting to be,” Ms. Walker revealed.

Medical Chief of Staff, Carolyn Burnette-Garraway said that because of insufficient beds at PMH, elective surgery was put on hold.

“We are having a crisis with limited bed space at Princess Margaret Hospital, and we are making every effort to ensure that we still accommodate our patients as best we can when they come and present for care.

“We are doing a triage process with surgery, so elective cases had to be canceled because we didn’t have the bed space to accommodate admissions for surgery. Patients will be rescheduled,” Dr. Burnette said.

Dr. Burnette did confirm however, that emergency surgeries were still being carried out.

“All emergency cases are still being done. Our surgeons are operating now [Friday], because some patients were already in hospital and we are trying to have those cases done and then once they recover they will be discharged,” Dr. Burnette said.

“Emergency surgeries are being done and as soon as the bed situation improves. We will do elective cases once more. We continue to do patients that need surgery for cancer, access to dialysis, renal patients and emergencies like gunshot wounds and patients with life-threatening conditions,” she said.

Overcrowded by more than 50 persons a day, Accident and Emergency Department is also experiencing a long term wait because of lack of beds, according to Dr. Crystal Wells, Chief of A & E.

“On a daily basis we are challenged, with overcrowding in the emergency department. For the last several weeks we have seen a surge in the volume of patients presenting to the emergency department.

“There are several factors that effect through the department. We have patients presenting from the community as well as those patients who are seen in the department and our ability to get in-patient beds for those patients,” Dr. Wells said.

“We have started the initiative of triaging our patients and we will triage at the emergency department and if your condition is deemed non-emergency cases, you will be referred to the clinic,” Dr. Wells said.

In the past 14 days A & E has seen more than 100 patients waiting to be seen on average on every shift in the department, with a 12-hour wait.

The department had originally been programmed to see between 30 and 50 persons on a daily basis, with a 4 to 6-hour wait time.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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