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...‘I will discharge patients myself’

By Carolyn Kissoon carolyn.kissoon@trinidadexpress.com

HEALTH MINISTER Dr Fuad Khan is prepared to take on the responsibility of assessing and discharging patients at public health institutions to make beds available for new admissions.

Khan said yesterday in a telephone interview he would “make rounds” at the hospitals and discharge the patients, as some doctors at the hospitals were unable to perform their duties properly. 

Khan was responding to the chronic bed shortage at the San Fernando General Hospital, where patients have been sleeping on benches in the corridors and on armchairs for several days.

 “We found out that doctors are very tardy in discharging patients so if you have no discharges and there are new admissions, automatically you would get an increase in the amount of patients wanting a bed. So those people who have been on the bed for days are still on the beds and are not being discharged,” he said.

Khan said a doctor’s responsibility was to “make rounds” on a daily basis and discharge patients. “I feel sorry for the doctors if they don’t realise that. And if I have to go and tell them that I better go and do it myself. I will have to start making ward rounds and assessing patients myself. It appears that the management of RHAs (Regional Health Authorities) and Boards of Directors don’t know what to do,” he said.

The hospital’s medical director Dr Anand Chatoorgoon has warned medical consultants to perform their jobs properly or leave the hospital. He held a meeting on Monday with heads of all 16 clinical departments on the issue of overcrowding.

South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) chief executive office, Anil Gosine, has said the bed shortage began after the first week of the new year.

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