Sun | May 28, 2017

Waiting forever for KPH surgery

Published:Saturday | September 5, 2015 | 9:00 AM

I wish to express my dissatisfaction with Jamaica's health system, more specifically the callous disregard for life.

I am not one to cast aspersions, but I think the handling of health care at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) is substandard and needs improvement. My relationship with the KPH took infancy in December 2014, and since then, our union has hit a rocky patch.

Through the treacherous terrain and tumultuous turns, I made frequent visits to the hospital and never skipped a beat. I was diagnosed with a right cerebellopontine angle tumour (acoustic neuroma) with proptosis of the right eye. This condition slowly debilitates the brain and paralyses the facial nerves.

Practitioners in the field of neurology conducted a CT scan cranium and an MRI, which have been essential in the detection and diagnosis of this medical condition. The neurologists at KPH suggested that in order to correct this problem, surgery was required.

I was told that preparation for surgery required scheduled appointments at the neurosurgical clinic and it has been a long haul. At the clinic, I was told that I needed to provide some essential items for surgery, as these items are not provided by the hospital.

I exerted much effort to obtain the money to offset the expense for the items. I was also told to get persons to donate blood for surgery. I thought I would have done the surgery already, but the process seems to be rather an arduous one. I am currently on a waiting list. I am not sure where I am on the list.

The doctors do not seem to be aware of the seriousness of the situation. Each time I visit the hospital, I am told something different. I am yet to secure a date for my surgery. The doctors are of the opinion that surgeries are done based on emergency. While I understand that, my situation is just as pressing. If the condition is left untreated for an extended period, it could be life-threatening.

I am grossly disappointed with the manner in which the doctors are treating the situation. There is no sense of urgency. They are the ones who recommended a surgery, yet they have been tardy in performing it. It is sad to say, but some of the doctors at KPH are dragging their feet. It seems as if some of them treat people's health with little or no importance.

Health care in Jamaica is a death sentence from which the poor have no escape. I feel as though I am serving 15 years to life.

How long will this ordeal drag on?

 

- Disgruntled patient