Editorial

When Will We Get The Healthcare We Deserve?

A mysterious death at the Victoria Hospital has left a family in distress, and to compound the situation which has been widely reported, the family has expressed that they are not satisfied with the explanations given by hospital staff, or the autopsy related to the demise of their loved one.

The young woman, 21-year-old Tina William, had reportedly gone to the hospital ahead of the Easter weekend to undergo tests related to a hormonal issue. She was subsequently admitted. Very soon after, she was dead. Though her devastated family has publicly shared their version of events, there is no official word from the hospital on what led to the death of the young woman.

This is not the first time VH has received negative reviews, with family members of patients, or patients themselves, reporting unsatisfactory treatment or care. All too often, there are complaints related to lack of supplies and bed space, long wait times, lack of communication, and generally rude staff. That is not to say there aren’t patients who have had decent experiences there, or good doctors or nurses, but the bad experiences continue to stain the delivery of care at the facility.

In this case, the girl’s family reported that she’d been given medication, but they had no clue what she’d been given. From their account also, nurses lacked sensitivity in dealing with the matter, even at one point threatening to kick the distressed mother out as she witnessed her daughter deteriorating before her very eyes, naked and restrained to a bed.

There were so many alarming aspects of the story as reported by the young woman’s family, but what stands out most is the apparent lack of sensitivity, and lack of information provided to the girl’s family, which is likely the reason they took their case to the media.

One would like to believe that the dignity of patients in all cases is respected as much as possible, when they are admitted to a national hospital for care, and that doctors and nurses understand the importance of communicating with family members as much as necessary to keep them informed all along the way, so that they can add input if needed.

No one wants to see their loved one experience anything like what is being reported in this recent situation, which had an all too unfortunate end.

In Saint Lucia, there are few opinions when it comes to emergency care, and it is high time that we (because we are the ones who must demand better care), stop behaving as though human life has no value. It is time for us to take our health, and the treatment and care of patients more seriously.

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