Tue | Dec 11, 2018

Poor service at Andrews Hospital

Published:Saturday | March 10, 2018 | 12:03 AM


I recently had the misfortune of my brother falling acutely ill. With the woes of the public-health system widely published, I decided to take him to Andrews Memorial Hospital (AMH) with a view to circumvent these shortcomings. We wanted to avoid the long wait and the lack of facilities/resources. We wanted to give him the best medical care, regardless of cost. Unfortunately, we got far less than that.

My disappointment was mainly with the doctor. Having been triaged by the nurse, we waited for some time before being seen. After basically reviewing the questions answered from triage, he proceeded to request a slew of investigations and ordering "medication" and IV fluids. He barely looked at my brother and to this point has not examined him.

We saw him again when he announced the results of the blood tests to us without even discussing a diagnosis. Eventually, our waiting time turned out to be an eternity, despite only a few patients being seen in casualty that evening.

We were left wondering if we had sacrificed good care at the false hope of decreased waiting time. I've had encounters in the public system with which I have been far more satisfied. I'd rather pay for that than for the 'nothingness' at AMH.

Doctors should be caring and patient-centred wherever they work. It should not be just about getting through patients and collecting money. I will be the first to admit that there are good and bad doctors in public and private care. My encounter, however, has left me more appreciative of the doctors in public hospitals and health centres.

As an aside, the Government needs to rethink this free public healthcare policy, as it is unrealistic to believe that taxpayers' money alone can provide quality treatment. Invest properly in the system, provide adequate resources and compensate the staff adequately.