Motorcyclists dominating accident cases at GPHC
By Lazeena Yearwood
The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) is the country’s main referral hospital and last year it had 20 per cent more admissions and 40 per cent more referrals at the Accidents and Emergency (A&E) Department.
In 2020 through 2022, the hospital was treating about 35,000 patients but in 2023, some 55,000 emergency cases were recorded.
Of these emergency cases, 10 per cent of them were critical. However, a major concern for the hospital is the high concentration of motor vehicular accidents involving motorcyclists.
Dr Zulfikar Bux, the Head of the Accident and Emergency Department, told the News Room that based on the hospital’s intake at A&E, the young adults riding motorcycles are dominating the critical care unit. The A&E department has an 18-bed capacity.
“There is a spectrum across but we do see the young adult population, the persons who tend to be more in their reckless phase of life, in terms of speeding and utilising intoxicants that would affect their judgement, those are the ones who tend to be more critical.
“A lot of the persons who are involved in motor vehicular accidents are riding motorcycles [and] tend to have more severe injuries,” Dr Bux said.
According to data provided by the doctor, there were 27 motor vehicle accidents reported to the hospital in 2023. These include persons who died while receiving treatment but their condition was critical.
Dr Bux said the hospital has seen more referrals and walk-in patients which means that the time it takes for a patient to be treated by a doctor has to improve.
Part of the goals for 2023 was better efficiency, which the hospital attained by reducing the wait time from about 2-3 hours to 56 minutes at minimum.
“The average door-to-doctor time is 56 minutes, [that] cannot be rivalled anywhere in the Caribbean for a level one trauma centre.
“It shows the amount of effort that we would’ve put in to improve the efficiency of care and also the effectiveness of care,” Dr Bux said.
This was attainable through significant cooperation from the doctors and nursing staff. He said that the hospital’s staff is committed to providing the best care possible, hence, several doctors and nurses joined the hospital’s emergency specialist programme.
This means more persons are trained to respond to medical emergencies that are taken to the hospital.
“The most important factor has been the staff, this is something we set out for at the start of the year, we would’ve seen the number of patients increase and we had to figure out efficiency and there are certain parameters implemented in the shift,” Dr Bux said.
As the hospital’s staff and management teams continue to conjure new ways to improve the services there, Dr Bux said the government’s plans to open new regional hospitals will significantly assist with reducing the workload at GPHC.
This means that the hospital will maintain its status of number one for emergency response but there will be more breathing room for patients to get efficient services.