Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. (iWN file photo)

By Elma Gabriel-Mayers

Yes! Just a few weeks ago, during a visit to St, Vincent and the Grenadines, I lifted my eyebrows and said, “For the love of God’!” My experience made me reflect on a lot of the things I have heard people say about the medical situation in our beloved SVG.

It is surely not my intention to pass judgement on the efforts of the SVG leadership but to bring attention to what are the neglects to some of the most critical requirements ensuring life continuity and well-being of people, especially those less privileged needing medical attention at their most crucial times.

When one is given doctor’s prescriptions that cannot be filled due to a shortage at the drugstores, it reflects on the critical state of the medical situation. This can only lead to the deterioration of the patient, which then forces them to the Kingstown emergency facility.

Truly, my experience at the Stubbs Polyclinic and later at Kingstown Hospital Emergency left me with no doubt as to the capabilities of our well qualified doctors and nurses. They worked professionally despite having to work within an un-maintained, poorly sanitised environment with dilapidated wash basins and pipes built up with mould; visible from broken ceilings; dark grey due to the excessive deposits of mould.

What good are our well qualified medical professionals who while attending to their patients have to hope “for miracles” that their bodies are immune to the potential effects in working within such mould-infested environment?

Special kudos to the nurse who was on duty at the Stubbs Poly Clinic on the evening of Dec. 31, 2018. I am not sure how many are aware that the nurses on duty the after 6 p.m. shift at polyclinics are there on a volunteer basic.

Contrary to my experience in trying to fill the prescription at the privately owned drugstores, the prescribe medicine was only available at the polyclinic and the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. 

I was impressed with the availability of the various medical equipment and supplies similar to that of North America’s clinics. We should be grateful also to an education revolution programme that provides free nursing education to those young aspiring men and women in SVG.  

Yes, we must continue to highlight the negatives within the platforms and never fail to also highlight the positives, as it really does not matter which government is in power, there will always be imperfections.

Likewise, those in leadership must stride in all honesty and be open to criticism in their effort to lead by example, the awareness to the fact that our younger aspirers are watching.

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to news.iwitness@gmail.com.

5 replies on “MCMH emergency facility generates much concern”

  1. Your statement, “When one is given doctor’s prescriptions that cannot be filled due to a shortage at the drugstores, it reflects on the critical state of the medical situation” has nothing to do with the public medical system, it reflects rather the issue of supply and demand: the private sector cannot be expected to keep little used medication in stock that will only have to be thrown away when it expires.

    I have also found that it is often necessary to visit half a dozen pharmacies in order to obtain certain less prescribed drugs.

    As for the hospital facilities, they speak for themselves as does the fact that those who can afford to go overseas for treatment avoid the MCMH like the plague.

  2. I shudder each time I hear the ambulance sirens heading to MCMH, yes kudos to the hardworking Nurses. I’m yet to be impressed by the senior Doctor’s, think their egos are blocking my view. But MCMH, is rife with bacteria and death to anyone entering it’s doors with a weakened immune system

    1. For that reason, my wife and I have sworn not to visit each other if one one of us, God forbid, is ever taken there for treatment.

      The not so dirty little secret about the hospital is not the lack of appropriate medication, which is well known, but the amount of viral pneumonia spread from patient to patient causing the untimely death of weak, undernourished, and elderly patients.

  3. Great article and great comments thus far. The truth is that the medical situation in all countries is always controversial. Some places are better than others and it will always be that way. All jurisdictions on earth and probably all jurisdictions that ever existed and will exist will always ask:
    Do people have a right to “funded” Medical Care?
    Governments usually have a responsibility to protect life in thier jurisdictions but do thay have the right to take money from healthy working people and give it to sick unemployed that do not contribute, have not and will not, along with those that maybe do contribute to one degree or another? Where do you draw the line as to what should be funded and how much money should be taken from one group and given to another? What groups get the benefits? This is a question that raises more questions and will always exist, and no matter what, will always be controversial.

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