Mon | Aug 20, 2018

Disgusted with care at May Pen Hospital

Published:Saturday | April 23, 2016 | 12:00 AM


Permit me to air my disgust and frustration with our health system that we, Jamaicans, have to encounter in time of real sickness. I have worked with the Government all of 36 years. I am now retired and have travelled abroad and have seen no place like Jamaica in terms of everything, whether good or bad.

On March 31, 2016, I felt really sick and was rushed to the May Pen Hospital, which is about five to 10 minutes away from where I reside, depending on the traffic. Thanks to my neighbour, who, although very nervous, was able to transport me in record tim.

On our arrival, there was a security guard-porter at the entrance who was asked to get a wheelchair for me. Thank God there was one! He got me into the chair immediately and wheeled me into a waiting room and said, "A nurse will soon be there." I told him I had an upset stomach and requested that he get me a pan as I was very nauseous. He muttered under his breath. I did not see him again.

I sat in that chair moaning and groaning. I waited for more than an hour and yet nobody came to assist me. I thought I had taken my last breath. My limbs were useless. There was weakness in my stomach and not even the PAN that I requested was available.

Thank God I didn't lose my speech! I managed to ask my neighbour to call someone who could take me to another facility some distance away. I cannot express the pain and agony I went through on that journey. But I said to myself, "Why sit here and die?" I preferred to die trying.

The bottom line is that nobody should be treated with such scant regard, whether one is rich or poor. An emergency department at a hospital should have the basic resources to offer in time of grave illness. We were told that the nurse would come in to work at 7 a.m., but I could not imagine that there was nobody working until that poor nurse came. This can't continue.

Something needs to be put in place to prevent this ill-treatment from happening. I know persons must have had similar experiences or might have died because of neglect.