Hospital managers must overhaul system
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I commiserate with the parents and loved ones who suffered the trauma associated with the death of babies from infections at the University and Cornwall Regional hospitals and to the many others like Sam Nichols who reported on his family's alarming experience at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) in a recent newspaper article.
It is encouraging to note, from a statement issued by the UHWI board, that action is being taken to address deficiencies identified at its Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit with the help of the Pan American Health Organization.
I would nevertheless urge the UHWI board to go further by auditing and upgrading its systems of control throughout the hospital to pre-empt similar crises in other departments. In doing so, attention should be paid to establishing appropriate and effective systems of control to facilitate and maintain the highest standards of service, including the performance, behaviour and attitude among the hospital's medical and administrative staff. There is much that can be learnt by regular feedback from patients and the public in this regard.
Also recommended for consideration by the minister of health, his officers and the regional health authorities, are for similar measures at other health facilities across the island.
Let us not wait for the news media to expose other crises like the bacterial infections and the allegations of uncouth and disrespectful behaviour of nurses at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital a few years ago. The patients, public, minister of health and his officials cannot afford any more such scandals.