‘Ocean View’ hospital has no staff shortage; worker assigned to contact families


Even with an increase in the number of people hospitalised after experiencing the more severe and life-threatening symptoms of COVID-19, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony says that there is no staff shortage at the Ocean View hospital at Liliendaal, Georgetown.

During his daily COVID-19 update on Tuesday, he lamented that the local health authorities have recorded an increase in hospitalisation, particularly among those people who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated against COVID-19.

In fact, on Tuesday, he said that some 164 patients, experiencing the severe symptoms of the disease, were hospitalised in facilities across the country. Of that number, 84 patients have been hospitalised at the National Infectious Diseases hospital, which is referred to as the Ocean View Hospital.

Furthermore, of the 84 patients, 30 are receiving critical care in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The worst affected patients, including those who have difficulties breathing without assistance from a machine, receive care in the ICU.

Still, Dr Anthony assured members of the public that the hospital has a “full complement” of both nurses and doctors. He also highlighted that physiotherapists also provide care to recovering COVID-19 patients there.

Importantly, the minister acknowledged complaints that families have been experiencing difficulties when trying to keep in contact with their family members who have been hospitalised in this facility.

As such, he highlighted that a worker has been tasked with keeping relatives updated on the patients’ health status. Though this worker is tasked with this responsibility, Dr. Anthony said that it is an uphill task keeping many relatives apprised of a patient’s health.

“I hope the public can understand that for each patient, we can’t call five different relatives.

“So when the patient comes in, we normally ask that patient who is their preferred point of contact and we normally call and update (them),” Dr Anthony explained.

Though the Health Minister said that the hospital has enough staff currently, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Narine Singh contended that the healthcare system could soon reach its “breaking point”.

“We know the system, in certain areas, was understaffed even before the pandemic so you can imagine it’s going to put some strain on the system,” Dr. Singh told the News Room last week.

Later, he added: “… we hope that we don’t reach to that breaking point where we have to refuse admissions and so on.”

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