Friday, September 14, 2007

Begging for Beds

Patient Dolly Narine, 74, lies on a bench in the corridor of San Fernando General Hospital yesterday. Narine and several other patients said they had been waiting for medical attention since Monday.
Photo: Innis Francis

No beds for women
Pregnant women sleep on floor
Elderly women spend nights on chairs
Heart patient begs for bed
Patients awaiting attention since Monday
“I will be very thankful, if I could get a bed please.”

—Heart patient Elsie Manoo, of Syne Village, Penal, appealing to health authorities yesterday.

BOTH pregnant and elderly women say they are going through torture at San Fernando General Hospital as they are forced to sleep on wooden benches, chairs and the cold floor in corridors because of the unavailability of beds.Yesterday, about 12 expectant mothers, some of whom were past their due date, were seen sitting on chairs inside Ward 13, the Maternity Ward of the hospital.

On Ward 11, four pensioners were among eight women who were agonising in pain because their were no beds.Among them was 53-year-old wheelchair-bound heart patient Elsie Manoo, of Syne Village, Penal, who has only one leg, which is deformed.Manoo said she and the other women had been waiting in the corridor of the hospital since Monday for treatment.
Up to midday yesterday, the elderly women were in discomfort and appeared to be agonising in pain.They complained of mainly chest pain and breathing difficulty.Some of them were hooked up to drips, but had to hold the bags in their hands.Their clothing and other personal items were lying on the floor next to them.With tears streaming down her face, Manoo begged for a bed.
She said, “Since Monday morning I here. I have plenty pain in my chest and I cannot breathe. I have one foot and it complicated.”She said, too, her soiled diaper had not been changed.“I can’t help myself. Whole night I turning and twisting. I using a urine bag and that thing paining me because I only sitting down.
“I will be very thankful, if I could get a bed please,” she pleaded.Another patient, Doyah Samaroo, 64, of Fullerton Village, Cedros, said she went to the hospital around 8 am on Monday with high fever and body pains.Sitting on a bench, she complained: “I feel to drag these drips out of my hand and go home...I cannot take it.
“My back hurting me from sitting on this bench.” Samaroo said.“Is over 20 people it had here on Monday night lying on the floor and the bench.“I was sitting on the bench and when I get fed up I had to put my head on my bags and lie down on the floor.“
People real suffering here.”Hardly able to speak, Manyee Mangroo, 89, of Barrackpore, who sat on a chair, said, “Whole night I so. It don’t have no bed.”Lying on a bench, Dolly Narine, 74, also complained: “My back hurting me from sleeping on this bench.”
Her daughter, Sandra, added: “See what people have to go through? People suffering and they (politicians) want vote.”The women said they were told by officials that the hospital was trying to source beds for them.
Not too far away, however, on the main corridor outside the ward, were at least four empty beds.On the Maternity Ward, several pregnant women held their swollen tummies as they sat in discomfort and pain.First-time mother, Candice Fingal, 22, who is one week overdue, said, “Pleas help us...last night around 7 o clock I here and I cannot get a bedSince yet.’
She said the nurses said there were only 21 beds and there were more than 40 patients.“The nurse say the cannot help us because there are no beds..But we are in pain,” she said.Donnawatee Harripersad, 27, of Debe, who is expecting her second child, said, “I am five days late.“They have to induce labour but they are also attending to emergency cases because there are no beds,” she said.“I left the hospital three o’clock this morning (yesterday) because they told us we could leave and return later...I came back 8 am and I am still sitting here.”
Another woman, who did not want to give her name, said she was two weeks overdue.Worried about her unborn child, she said, “This is not right...I also left here around 2 o’ clock this morning (yesterday) and came back about 8 am.“I am having a lot of back pains,” she complained.

A perennial problem

Acting medical director of the San Fernando General Hospital Dr Anand Chattoorgoon said he was aware of the situation and visited the wards yesterday morning.He said authorities were trying to source beds for the patients.“That is a perennial problem...That is nothing new,” Chatoorgoon said.“More and more people are accessing the hospital. People are coming from all parts of the island. We are doing our best to find beds for them.”Chattoorgoon also said another option was to seek alternative accommodation.“As a matter a fact, we intend to house patients at the Point Fortin Hospital if we did not have enough beds at this hospital,” he said.Told about the empty beds on the corridor, he said: “Yes, yes, those are some of the beds we are trying to get for them.”
A similar incident occurred at the Ward Three months ago when patients did not have any beds to sleep on for days because of overcrowding.One woman took a bed for her husband Jimmy Smyke, 55, who had been in pain lying on a bench on the ward for two days.Last month pregnant women were also forced to sleep on wooden benches at the Maternity Ward because of the unavailability of beds.
This in essence is the fockin problem here in Trinidad and Tobago. While we Prime Minister jet off to Cuba for check ups, and horse fockin face Camille Robinson running down sperms in NY City, whilst shopping for wigs and all the PNM big pappies jetting off, the fockin poor people in this country suffering like dogs.
Ah doh even want to start on the biggest cont imposed on the people down South. Anand Chattergoon. Fockin PNM dog, medicine for money.
Yuh know what? Fockin PNM nigga asses still vote Raheal in the poll as the best fockin Minister.....we Min. of Health...
This fockin place gone.


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