Kudos to St James complex for Ryan’s recovery
While it is indeed excellent news that Sea Lots accident victim Ryan Rampersad has made a remarkable recovery during his time at the St James Medical Complex, the Boxing Day front page article of the Express also made mention of the fact that while at the PoS General Hospital the reporter also witnessed that after several months at that hospital Ryan was found covered with oozing bed sores and that one of his ears was decomposing!
The fact is, his move to St James was made to actually save his life!
How can anyone, receiving anything close to modern, competent, professional medical care end up with bed sores? The answer is that they shouldn’t.
The most basic, standard, nursing care of bed-ridden patients requires that they be regularly inspected for bed sores and that they be turned and their positions adjusted to avoid over-compression of certain parts of their bodies, which is what causes bed sores in the first place.
This clearly wasn’t being done. Not only were the PoSGH nursing staff at every level actively delinquent in their duties towards this (and how many others?) patient, but even the most recent, wet behind the ears medical school graduate doing ward rounds should have noticed this and taken action, let alone the house officers, registrars and near-fictional consultants who are supposed to be on duty and supervising them.
And all this with a constant media interest in the patient concerned! Who on earth is training these people, and holding them accountable?
The St James Infirmary, as it was known in earlier times, was established well over a century ago to care for the indigent infirm when no other facilities were available to them.
Along with church and other charitable organisations, these were the places that those who could not afford private medical care would go to for help.
There was, then, over 100 years ago, in our then less than wealthy country, a consciousness of responsibility and care for our citizens. Now, after 50 years of oil-rich independence, we find the major public hospital in our capital city leaves patients in its care in as bad a state as a destitute street dweller.
It’s no wonder the very expensive private sector medical clinics and hospitals are doing such good business, even when many of them offer no better than entry-level standards of care by developed world standards. Many people are genuinely afraid to go into our State hospitals!
It won’t matter how many hospitals we build if the mindset and management of the staff working there are nothing better than medieval. Working conditions of staff, often deplorable, sometimes shocking, are only part of the story.
Is it that the authorities are afraid to challenge an established status quo? And if so, why? If we are looking for “broken windows” to fix in our society, then the basic management and supervision of our public healthcare institutions are good places to start.
Port of Spain