THE South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) has asked parents with children with illnesses not considered ‘critical’ to seek assistance at the nearest primary care facility as the Bustamante Hospital for Children has been facing bed capacity and other challenges.
Dr Andrei Cooke, acting SERHA board chairman, said the shortage of beds at the children’s hospital. as well as increased waiting time, has been impacting negatively on the facility’s patient load.
“We continue to see a high volume of patients in our Accident and Emergency Department as well as on the wards.
Despite our efforts to bolster the staff complement to deal with the delays, it has been observed that the waiting time is still long,” Cooke said in a release issued by SERHA on Monday.
He added: “Some of these children can be treated at a primary care facility, whether it is a health centre or otherwise.
Therefore, we are urging the parents whose children are not critically ill to go to the primary care facilities before visiting the Bustamante Hospital for Children.”
Several parents on Monday complained that their children were turned away from the institution.
The release did say if the shortage in bed capacity was caused by a flood of children who are suspected of having chikungunya but speculation was rife that that may have been the case.
In the carefully worded press release, Cooke encouraged parents to “seek early medical intervention for their children in order to reduce the onset of complications that will require hospitalisation”.
He also noted that the region continues to explore possible solutions and implement measures to treat with the delays. “The region regrets any inconvenience caused by the delays,” he said.
“We are also encouraging the parents to cooperate with the staff because we understand the frustration this situation can cause,” said the SERHA boss.