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MCMH incident

The Ministry of Health, on Wednesday, described as “deeply disturbing” a video of a woman lying unattended on the floor of the Accident and Emergency Ward of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital while several healthcare workers, including uniformed nurses, milled around.

In the 47-second video, which was widely circulated on social media, a nurse walks toward the woman, stands close to her and appears to be talking to another person, but does nothing to assist the woman who was lying on the floor.

The video appears to be have been recorded by a member of the public who was among persons awaiting attention at the ward of the hospital, the nation’s main healthcare facility.

It includes commentary by two unidentified women, who remark on the attitude of the hospital staff.

“They still have the lady lying there?” one woman asks.

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Another responds: “Nobody ain’t even checking she pulse [or] nothing dread.  And look at the nurse — a big sister; look at who have to go to the woman — the least qualified person… Why is the ward assistant going to she and the sister stand up right there?”

The circumstances surrounding how the woman came to be lying on the hospital floor are still unclear, but unconfirmed reports are that the woman was later admitted to the hospital.  

In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, the Ministry of Health said the video was filmed one day earlier and that its contents are “deeply disturbing”.

“The Ministry expects a responsive and caring attitude to always be displayed to all persons who go to a health facility for services. The Ministry sincerely regrets this disturbing incident — it is entirely unacceptable,” the statement said.

It said that Minister of Health Senator Luke Browne and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Cuthbert Knights, met Wednesday morning with relevant staff and requested “urgent reports”.

The statement said the reports will be forwarded, through the permanent secretary, to the Service Commissions Department and will “form the basis for any further action if necessary.

“A thorough investigation has been ordered to ascertain the full facts,” the ministry said.

“Additionally, the Ministry takes this opportunity to report that the patient was treated and admitted to the hospital for continuing observation and care. The high performance standards that have been set by the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment must be upheld,” the statement said.

13 replies on “Ministry investigates treatment of woman at hospital after video emerges”

  1. Jasmine Ryan says:

    I hope the ministry of health steps up.
    These staff members at MCMH need to be reprimanded. Waiting to see next step.

  2. Sara Jameson says:

    Obviously the staff are poorly trained or are allowed to have the attitude that thier training is unimportant. This can be said of so very many in Saint Vincent, to include much of the Private Sector. I am not experienced enough to state whether this is also true of all or most other Caribbean locations but it is certainly true of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. From the video we do not know if this woman was already attended to earlier, nor do we know what happened afterwards but it is obvious that the staff have a lack of concern. I have seen people nearly bleed to death in emergency waiting rooms in the USA so we have to consider this with a grain of salt.
    Notwithstanding, we really do have to begin doing things like we have a purpose in life…particularly when it comes to saving lives. The only way to change this is to change our culture- VERY DIFFICULT! Only governments can do this, This government seems to have a bigger lack of concern than even this hospital staff.

    1. Alban Bowman. says:

      You met high performance standards with lots of dedication and you destroyed it so what the hell are you talking about.

  3. C. ben-David says:

    The 64-dollar question is whether this is a unique occurrence or a near daily event.

    I suspect that it is closer to a daily event than to a unique occurrence, more proof of the poor level of all sorts of public service — hospital, clinics, public service, police, schools, and courts — in our backward and incompetent society.

  4. Jolly Green says:

    I have seen this kind of staff behavior myself at MCMH.

    The problem is that many nurses and administrators have become desensitised to suffering people pleading for help, and have lost all the ability to show and administer compassion.

    Like, you can lay on the floor as long as you like, it is not your turn, so just wait there until we call you.

    Are there sufficient numbers on duty to attend to people, is triage conducted properly?

    Perhaps even, she went into the toilet there, saw the state of it and passed out.

  5. Too long, too much says:

    Watch the video and note how the form that the nurse is filling out is more important than the woman lying on the floor.

    That’s how it goes everytime I have been to MCMH. Turn up trying to get someone attention fast because of one reason or another and you have to fill out a form and wait 2 hours while you see the doctor on call filling out forms while your friends heart beat (heart problems) is all over the place like a blasted gypsy ball. And by the time they finally check her (2 hours with a bad heart). She has normalised and we just have nothing else to do but head home because doctor says everything is normal.

    MCMH is a waste of time. If you are south windward. Head to Stubbs or Calliaqua clinic, they are fantastic in comparison, and if they can’t help you there book a ticket to Barbados FAST.


  7. Mica country Montreal, Quebec Canada says:

    Please with all respect why you comparing USA with SVG ?. Eventhough such behaviour of unprofessionalisn displayed by other well developed countries such as the USA that doesn’t mean such beviour should displayed regarding the health care system in SVG. On a personal not I saw the video and it was very disturbing for a patient to be lying on the cold floor in the emergency room with the view of others who was waiting for medical attendance and also for a high ranking unit sister to walk by without assessing the patient very shameful and unprofessional. I do hope the Ministry of Healrh would under go a thorough investigation . In December I had a very close well respect hard working Citizen husband died due to the lack of negligence regarding the health care system in SVG.

  8. whether nationally or international self hate is one of the evils we as a race must overcome . I am most certain if it was any other race on that floor someone would have came to their aid almost immediately .
    There have been patients dying on the floors of KCH in Brooklyn NY and others due to lack of care or attention , for this reason it is relevant to compare SVG to USA and others to show its not about politics or professionalism but a group of people that show so much disunity and hate towards each other . The same behavior they display here is the same or worst they continue to display abroad . THAT SAID THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH POLITICS OR WHICH GOV IN POWER . THIS HAS BEEN A CONTINUING OCCURRENCE FOR DECADES UNDER OTHER PARTIES

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