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Patient No-Shows Among The Challenges Facing OKEU Hospital


Patient no-shows, a nursing shortage, the cost of drugs and medical supplies, and investing in modern technology are among the challenges facing the Millennium Heights Medical Complex (MHMC), of which the OKEU Hospital is a part.

The revelation came during a Town Hall meeting in Babonneau on Wednesday.

In addition to the OKEU Hospital, the MHMC includes the National Mental Wellness Centre and Turning Point Rehabilitation Centre.

“It costs about ninety million dollars a year to deliver the package of services to the population of Saint Lucia,” MCMH Chief Executive Officer Dexter James told the town hall meeting.

Regarding hospital challenges, he said the nursing shortage was declining.

However, James said there was high in-patient bed occupancy due to sicker patients and non-communicable diseases.

But he described patient no-shows as a particularly ‘vexing issue.’

“Patients are booked for appointments, and we have thirty percent; three out of ten patients are no-shows. They just don’t show up,” the MHMC official disclosed.

James observed that the situation creates resource wastage as doctors wait to see individuals who do not show up in the outpatient clinics.

He said the individuals later visit the emergency department in a ‘catastrophic state.’

The CEO disclosed that a quarter of all patients the OKEU Hospital Accident and Emergency Department sees require non-urgent medical care.

James explained that such patients could receive medical care elsewhere, such as at polyclinics.

James also addressed the issue of malpractice coverage.

“Today, your hospital spends $620,000 a year for malpractice insurance. We have to spend it because things can go wrong and in the event a suit is brought to us, we have to be able to mitigate it,” the MHMC official stated.

In addition, he cited high public expectations as another challenge.

James said people watch television shows like ‘Emergency Room’ and ‘Dr. House’.

He explained that, as a result, they want all the ‘fancy gadgets’ they see on those shows, including Artificial Intelligence.

“Those are high public expectations that we are grappling with on a day to day basis that we could ill-afford to finance,” James told the town hall audience.

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  1. 90 mil a year and corruption is how much a year ?? Solve that and you will have more than 90 mil per year for the st.lucian’s health sector service . Useless embasadors with all stupid allowances and politicians going on tour and vacation and say is work aka tourist sector especially lol . Sad state of priorities . Taiwan China Canada USA Venezuela and private investors eg Cabot. Yet still 90 plus mil a year is a strain on the health sector with the people poor to pay the bills . SMH

  2. They forget to mention frequent misdiagnosis, bad attitude of nurses and doctors, delay in attending to patients. I’d rather sell my assets and go to Martinique or Trinidad for treatment that go for a death sentence in OKEU

  3. Let’s be real there is a reason why patients don’t show up. It could be that the patients experienced bad treatment from some of the nurses. Who would want to come back after getting bad service. I know the nurses are tired but some of them are rude and want to talk to you how they want. They make you feel so uncomfortable to ask a question. Oh and when you ask a question is either they don’t know or they find you asking to many questions.

  4. So the “state of the art” hospital of yesterday is now just “in a state”. See pappy-show here.
    You can deflect as much as you want. Play the blame game – you have won, so congrats. The problems did not happen overnight, but are due to years of chronic mismanagement, cover-ups, and victimization of persons who actually had standards. So of course the exodus of any quality staffing will continue. What remains is finally starting to be exposed.
    Not fun being captain of a sunken ship is it?
    No building structure, show of face meetings, or imported so-called experts or consultations will fix this basic attitude problem. You can throw (our) money at it and boast or lament about how much it cost – that will only fool some people, apart from yourselves.
    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them (Einstein).
    So do something already. Do not insult our people by making reference to American tv shows as the basis for our expectations. Our “high expectations” are firstly not to have another VH, OR WORSE. If that is considered “high expectations”, then perhaps there are alternatives to present overpaid administrative persons. The honeymoon period is over and you can bet our bottom dollar that we have expectations.

  5. I hope the EU donors of OKEu are seeing these comments because they have aided an abetted a Healthcare system that is grounded by nepotism…is who you know and who knows you! Your life depends how well you are known among doctors in that place…otherwise you are left in the hallways in AE to die a miserable death.

  6. Don’t put all the blame on anyone group or person because we are all in it together. The mighty dollar has taken over. We don’t care for each other anymore. We consciously and unconsciously kill each other for the dollar at an alarming rate even as we debate on this forum. We in the public sector receive deplorable services on a daily basis. We don’t care because we are going to get paid regardless. There is hardly any serious supervision and therefore absolutely little to no accountability. Don’t we realize even with limited capital how far a little caring can go. It can even cure a patient. Put everything else on a side and just show some love. The elders who lived to the seventies and beyond, survived without the technology

  7. Somehow this statement seems to be missing something. No patient show up, should not be a problem. If govt spend less money on useless ambassadors and their entourage and less money on per diem and more on getting equipment and meds for us Lucians the problem will be solved. Btw what was the 2.5% there for, Btw

  8. yall dont se what this guy is doing he is trying to remove the blame on his shoulders and put it on the public. You say that patients dont show up, do any of you use the initiative to at least call the patients the day before to remind them of their appointment? or even maybe the same day in question if you dont see them call them to find out if they will be able to make it? Bro stop making excuses nuh

  9. @Caress – you are spot on with your comment – you are absolutely correct? I hate to say this – currently, the state of affairs in St. Lucia in every sector require a 360 degree turnaround for the better folk are uncaring. Currently, they all seem to be going nowhere fast. and heading for a serious collapse. Godspeed.


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