Former Health Minister, Doctor Keith Mondesir, has urged the current Minister of Health, Mary Isaac, to go undercover to Victoria Hospital to witness first hand what persons have to endure in the Accident and Emergency Department.
Speaking Monday afternoon, Mondesir told St Lucia Times that he was at the department where he witnessed a woman in her seventies who was discharging herself after having to wait over a period of three days to see a Doctor.
“She is going to her home and going to Tapion Hospital,” the former Health Minister explained.
Mondesir said although there are good nurses and other staff at Victoria Hospital, the situation there is bad and needs to be addressed through the provision of adequate manpower and resources.
Asked for an explanation, a senior health official said that in the Accident and Emergency Department also offers a primary health care service.
“These are the two services that we have in Accident and Emergency,” the official told St Lucia Times.
“We have a doctor for accident and emergency around the clock,” the official explained.
But the official disclosed that in primary health care, the doctor comes at 8.00 a.m and leaves at 4.00 p.m, while another comes in at 4.00 p.m and leaves at midnight.
“So if you are seen in A&E and you are not an emergency, that means that you have to be seen by the primary health care doctor and depending on the time that you come there, if the doctor in primary health care has left at midnight, then you have to be there at 8 O’ clock the next day,” the official said.
“We can do one of two things, stay to see the doctor until eight the next day, or you can choose to go into the community to see the doctor.”
However the official explained that the mere fact that tests would have been done, means that a patient would have to wait to see the Victoria Hospital primary health care doctor the next morning.
It was also explained that if nothing was happening in the Accident and Emergency Department in terms of emergencies, the A&E doctor would see the patient even if it is after midnight.
“As long as there is no emergency happening, they will take care of you in A&E as someone who is referred to primary health care,” according to the official.
Earlier, a photo, said to be of a young female patient who had collapsed in the A&E Department while awaiting medical attention, was posted on social media.