More to Bellevue 'madness'
The Editor, Sir:
This is in response to the headline, 'Madness! 'Anarchy' at Bellevue hospital'. First, let me agree with the members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that there needs to be accountability for the spending of government funds.
Second, this lack of accountability began under Omar Davies - the current PAC chairman. Why didn't he remedy the situation? He is equally culpable.
Third, Bellevue employs just about 750 members of staff. Not all are directly related to giving health care (the reporter was a bit careless with his information). Of this 750, about 400 are directly related to health care. The technical staff comprises about 12 doctors at maximum, fewer than 200 nurses (registered and enrolled) and the remainder, nursing auxiliary staff.
So where did the 1:1 ratio come from, especially when you take into consideration that there are 24 wards, including the Kenneth Royes Rehab in Spanish Town, a three-shift system, vacation leave, study leave, maternal leave, absenteeism, the type of clientele and the various competencies of the categories of direct caregivers?
On any given day, you will find on a ward a maximum of two nurses and two auxiliary staff, which is grossly inadequate when you consider the type of clients, the presence of students, and escorts to different institution (e.g., Kingston Public Hospital) for medical and other purposes.
I contend that the nursing staff to client ratio is wholly inadequate. These figures, improperly broken down, will give the public the wrong impression.
I am, etc.,