The issue of overcrowding is affecting the efficient delivery of health care services at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) unit of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
Head of the unit, Dr. Zulfikar Bux attributes the overcrowding to citizens’ recognition of the fact that the institution provides an improved level of specialist care.
Dr. Zulfikar Bux – Head of the Accident and Emergency Unit, Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation
“We have delivered improved care here, and obviously it’s gone out to the public so this is now the realisation that this is the place you can come to when you have an emergency, so more and more patients are bypassing the other centres and coming here. I would tell you on a random day you can have patients from Berbice, patients from up in West Demerara, even from Timehri that are by passing the other centres and coming to GPHC,” Dr. Bux told the Government Information Agency (GINA).
The GPHC caters for patients coming from all parts of Region Four and also accepts referrals from Regional Hospitals. Any other patient seeking medical attention from elsewhere therefore creates an additional burden to the hospital.
Dr. Bux noted that although this may be the case, the staff of the A&E unit respond to all patients arriving at the GPHC. “We have to ensure we take care of, becoming the national referral centre, all the complicated cases from all the hospitals including private hospitals in the country.”
Staff of the A&E unit have been trained through the Emergency Medical System programme to better provide efficient care to the growing number of patients since it has been recognised that the overcrowding would not be resolved any time soon.
Dr. Bux said he recognises that there is a general challenge with the staff providing health care however, the training will see improvement in the level of care provided and will also help the specialist doctors to become even more familiar with their work.
Guyanese are encouraged to visit the nearest health facility in their community as a first responder to minor accidents before seeking medical attention at GPHC. The GPHC serves as a referral hospital for cases that cannot be attended to by other health facilities.