Diabetics want improvements
Guyana Chronicle
March 29, 2002

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Attending the Diabetic Clinic of the Georgetown Public Hospital, whether by appointment or to repeat medication, and then having to unduly wait at the pharmacy can be very irksome, depressing and most times - pressure-giving.

Wednesday last (March 20) was my worst encounter. I submitted my appointment card to have my medication repeated at approximately 10.12 a.m (the official time is 10.30 - 11 a.m.}

Persons seeking to have their medication repeated are expected to wait until the Diabetic Clinic is through or in some cases, whenever the medication charts are seen and signed by a doctor (there are times when these charts are tended to by a doctor before the Clinic ends).

At around 12.08 pm I received my medication chart and proceeded to the pharmacy, which incidentally is now relocated opposite the main door of the East Street entrance.

There, I was told by a security guard to stack my chart at a particular wicket.

Being fortunate to be seated, I observed a crude hand-written sign at another wicket, which stated that the attendants were at lunch from 12 noon to 1 pm.

The waiting period was agonizing for all of us who had to endure the humidity in the foyer, as there were no fans or ventilation.

At approximately 2 pm the very first diabetic patientís name was called after the luncheon break.

Needless to say how persons were fretting and steaming and at times some were even encroaching on the pharmacy much to the annoyance of the security guard and a particular pharmacist.

It was then about 3.50 pm when my name was called.

Looking across at a nearby wicket, I observed a similarly stacked pile of charts and wondered Ö when?

It must be noted that throughout my visit, no one of seeming authority paid any heed to our discomfort.

Surely somewhere along the way improvement lurks.

Looking back at how the day was spent, I am of the belief that there are several lessons to be learnt by the new hospital management team:
(a) Finding an alternative arrangement for diabetics who are repeating their medication so as to avoid hours/days being lost from work;

(b) Continuity of work during the luncheon period (flexi lunch hours);

(c) Taking into consideration the amount of man hours and earnings being lost by workers attending clinic;

(d) Work places not granting too many time-offs to attend clinic or to repeat medication;

(e) Proper ventilation/fans;

(f) Reintroduction of mini-dispensary in the Diabetic Clinic area;

(g) More seating accommodation;

(h) Lectures for the Records/Pharmacy staff and even the security guards who all have to come into contact with diabetics. It is universally known that diabetics become irritable and fretful at times and need that extra tolerance from the above personnel.

(i) It is time that members of the institutionís management visit with patients so as to have first-hand and practical information/experience and more so to have proper feedback with regards to the various systems being implemented.

Once more, all for continued patient-friendly improvements.