THE EDITOR, Sir:About 3:30 one recent morning I was taking a friend to the May Pen Hospital and had difficulty finding it. There are no proper signs on the major roads that direct you to the hospital. The sign on the hospital compound is not lit and was so situated that it could be easily missed at night. Another party had similar trouble finding the hospital. Much clearer signs are needed than the tiny 'silent zone' signs that mean little to the motoring public. The entity responsible for road signs would be doing a public good if it erects proper road signs directing the public to hospitals across the island.
I liken the May Pen Hospital to a fly trap - looking good only from the outside. The emergency exits were blocked with as many as nine cylinders, which I presume contained oxygen. I wonder how this dangerous condition could obtain if the May Pen Fire Brigade were conducting regular inspections of the facility. Is there a safety officer/safety committee at the May Pen Hospital? The emergency room was more like an emergency ward. It had at least 20 occupied beds.
It rained and water dripped from the ceiling, running down on the walls on the ward that I visited. Right above the nursing station, dust collected on the fan and ceiling. There were no garbage cans in the bays, so patients deposited their garbage on the floor. I saw a ward attendant sweep bloody gauze, cotton swabs, plastic wraps and other refuse from the bays. There were no visible receptacles for trash deposit so plastic wrap, and other paper refuse were deposited/stuck between the wall and rail in the corridor. The only garbage cans I saw were across from the nursing station.
Later that day, we (my wife and I along with my friend's wife) visited him. I was given a search and body scan before I was allowed on the ward. The women were not allowed on the ward because they were deemed to be improperly dressed (they wore sleeveless tops) and had to go change before they were allowed on the ward. Again, why? What does one's mode of dress have to do with the health and well-being of a patient?
The idea of free health care (a political football) cannot be sustained. There must be a minimal charge to help offset the upkeep of hospitals.