Doctors' flats need urgent upgrading
February 6, 2004
I am a relative of a doctor who works at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and I have visited this individual on many occasions while the individual was on call.
Let me introduce by explaining the hours these doctors work so that you will have greater insight. Doctors work from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday. Addition-ally they are required to do calls - 4pm to 8am the following morning on weekdays and 8am to 8am (24hours) on weekends and holidays. How often they do calls depends upon how many doctors there are in the particular department. Working once in every two nights is not an uncommon occurrence.
The doctors' quarters are housed in the northern third of one of the most decrepit of the hospital's buildings. It is the central focus of the main compound. Security guards do not man the single entrance/exit. On a rainy day one gets wet entering/leaving the building since the guttering for the roof leaks at that spot.
The ground and first floors have been devoid of lighting at nights for many months now. There is a rat, cockroach and woodant infested remnant of a kitchen on the ground floor. (A decent picture was shown in Wednesday's Stabroek News. Note that the stoves seen are non-functional and no one does any cooking there).
Adjoining this is what used to be a common room, now a 'liming, area for the hospital's attendants and anyone who chooses.
The first floor accommodates some fifteen doctors and some of the doors there are barred by pieces of wood that stick out in a very unsafe manner.
The lone co-ed toilet and bathroom with holes in the floors, ceiling and walls is a sorry sight. The toilet can only be flushed using a bucket and the bathroom door is rotting away.
Water leaks from the bathroom above. The windows in the rooms are virtually devoid of window panes - one can only imagine what happens on a rainy night. The paint job looks decades old. The remaining two floors are no different. (Note that the new ambulatory care building, in contrast, had about three paint jobs last year.)
What about the other essential facilities? Well as already alluded to - there is no water cooler, no refrigerator, no stove and often no tap water.
The hospital's board of directors is refusing to give these doctors an audience about their problems or to act on these problems.
I can only conclude that they see nothing wrong with these health care providers living in this squalor for some G$125 per hour. If this is the case, I shudder to think what they believe adequate health care for the general public should be.
It seems that since Wednesday with the recent nurses sit in and the pictures in the papers, there is now a hussle and repairs have started - or is it just a show?
(name and address supplied)
We are sending a copy of this letter to Mr. Michael Khan, the Chief Executive Officer of the Georgetown Public Hospital, for any comments he might wish to make.