Staff and drug shortage amongst issues plaguing Essequibo Health institutions. 

Health Institutions on the Essequibo Coast, continue to be plagued by the shortage of healthcare providers, and essential medication. RDC Councillor Malika Courtman raised this issued at the Council’s statutory meeting last Wednesday.

She explained that this shortage is affecting the Suddie Public Hospital, which is the primary health care institution on the Essequibo Coast. We understand that this shortage is also affecting  the Oscar Joseph Hospital in Charity which is also challenged by staff shortages.

“Right now at the Public Hospital (Suddie) we have a shortage of nurses on duty, because the majority of the time we’re having like two nurses on duty. Normally on a shift we need to have at least four to five nurses on a shift. And this is a problem we’ve been having for some months now, and that problem I think needs to be dealt with urgently.”

The councillor also indicated that the ‘intel system’ at the hospital is also down, which affects communication within the hospital’s communication system. “The other issue is that the intel system doesn’t work… It’s been over two years now since the telephone systems haven’t been working. If you need assistance, or a doctor for some reason, you gotta use your own phone to make that call, if you know you don’t have that credit in your phone then you have to run all the way down to accident and emergency in order to get a document to assist.” Said Courtman.

The Clerk of the RDC, Mr. Devenand Ramdatt, said that there is also a shortage of drugs and essential supplies within the region, which disappointingly, was not reported to the RDC by the Health Committee. “There were a number of drugs and medical supplies that were short in our system, and it was quite disappointing that this had to be reported directly to our President during a meeting with Regional RHOs, when it was not reported here in this house… Quality information needs to be presented at these meetings.  We don’t know who will need medication and who will be on the surgery bed and medications important.” Said Ramdatt.