Several patients sat on chairs and stood on the corridor of Ward 15 of the San Fernando General Hospital yesterday, begging for a bed to rest their weary heads. Pleading for assistance to get a bed, the patients said they were frustrated with the public healthcare system and asked that the Government urgently address the overcrowding situation at the hospital. An elderly woman said she had been at the hospital since 6 pm on Thursday with her 73-year-old husband who suffered a mild stroke. "Up to now we cannot get a bed... No medication, nothing. Last night he sleep on a bench in the asthma room at casualty and today he still waiting for a bed... Not a tablet he get," she said.
Although she had not taken her medication for diabetes and high blood pressure, the woman said she did not want to leave her husband until he got a bed. "This is ridiculous," she said. Another patient, Sahid Ali, 52, said his left foot was swollen and painful. "They say to put up my foot, but put it where... People suffering here," Ali said, as he sat on a chair in the ward. He said he had been there since 11 pm on Thursday. Another man who said he ingested a poisonous substance also sat on a chair. With a tube connected from his nostrils to a bag with green fluid, he said: "I here since last night. I in real pain."
Dialysis patient Victor Low said he had been at the hospital since 7 pm on Thursday, and only got something to eat yesterday morning. "My sister had to bring a Gatorade and two muffins for me," said Low, who was experiencing seizures. A Public Services Association representative said nurses were overworked and frustrated. The representative said the ward was being used as a holding bay until beds became available on the medical wards, but the situation was terrible.
?Dr Chattoorgoon: We're working on it
?Medical Director of Health Anand Chattoorgoon acknowledged that the hospital did have a problem with overcrowding. But he said: "They are going to get beds. As fast as patients get discharged, they will get beds. Right now there are some empty beds on Ward Two and some of them will be sent there. We are working on it.