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BED SHORTAGE CRIPPLING PUBLIC HEALTH FACILITIES AGAIN: Princess Margaret: Administrators say no patients say yes

Published:Sunday | April 3, 2016 | 4:00 AMShana Monteith
The Princess Margaret Hospital in St Thomas.

Administrators at the St Thomas-based Princess Margaret Hospital are celebrating the fact that they are not faced with the bed shortage crippling the service at several other hospitals across the island.

Several persons who have visited the facility have claimed that patients have been turned away because of a shortage of beds at the facility, but parish manager of the St Thomas Health Services, Colleen Wright, told The Sunday Gleaner there is no problem with beds.

"We don't have that problem at the Princess Margaret. Since I'm there, I have not seen that happen," said Wright.

"We have an adequate supply of hospital beds and are able to house the patients who come into the facility to be administrated. We don't really have a challenge with patients sitting on chairs after admission. When they are admitted, they are sent up or taken to the ward where they are duly placed on beds," added Wright.

UNAWARE OF CHALLENGES

Medical officer of health for St Thomas, Dr Doyen Smith, also told our news team that he is unaware of challenges being faced by the hospital where a shortage of bed is concerned.

The hospital is also not included on a list compiled by the Ministry of Health, of facilities where discharged patients are occupying beds provided for the very ill.

But a porter, who has been working at the Princess Margaret Hospital for almost a decade, claimed he has witnessed numerous occasions when persons have to sit on chairs because there is no available bed.

"Many times, they have to turn back patients and tell them to come back in the morning because they don't have anywhere to put them. They usually give them medication to last them until they come back the next day, but that's a 'common assault'," claimed the porter.

"I see it happen all the time, and all over, not just here. A lot of times, I carry patients to Kingston Public Hospital and have to leave them there on stretcher because they don't have any beds available," added the porter.