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Dept. Of Health and Wellness Speaks on Conditions at Respiratory Hospital

THE Department of Health and Wellness has spoken out regarding concerns expressed by some members of the public relating to a recent video footage highlighting the conditions of a temporary lodging area for a patient at the Respiratory Hospital (Victoria Hospital).

“We appreciate the heightened awareness by the public of the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and how the Department of Health and Wellness is responding to this constantly evolving health concern. It is very unfortunate that some patients had an initial negative experience at the hospital,” noted the Department in a press release yesterday.

The Department apologizes for the patient’s negative experience at the hospital and assured the public that it aimed to provide all patients with the highest level of care in a safe, clean and comfortable environment.

“As discussed in previous press statements, we are working assiduously to address the infrastructural upgrades at the respiratory hospital which include complete renovation of approximately 50 beds and in some instances, the installation of individual bathroom facilities to meet WHO standards for COVID-19 patients. Other works include painting, installation of ventilation system and an upgrade of the sewer and waste water systems.

“Unfortunately, while we were busy ensuring that the infrastructural works were complete, there was an increase of COVID-19 patients in country which severely disrupted the project, resulting in incomplete works in some areas. We had to quickly admit patients at the hospital while simultaneously continuing with the said infrastructural works in a safe and conducive manner for all concerned. This was further exacerbated by the heavy rainfall over the last two weeks,” noted the Department.

According to the Department of Health the heavy rains resulted in leaks, water seepage and other wet conditions at the Respiratory Hospital and its maintenance and technical teams have done their best to manage the leaks and water seepage. However, dry weather is needed for this to be adequately addressed.

“Some of the challenges we encountered during the early stages of preparing for the COVID-19 pandemic were: Dietary Services: Our meals were transferred from our main kitchen at OKEU-H to the respiratory hospital. As a result, we received complaints from patients indicating that meals were late and cold. I am happy to inform that we have reopened the kitchen at the respiratory hospital. We have a talented culinary and dietary services team who ensures that all meals meet the therapeutic nutritional standards for each patient.

Linen Services: Linen was also a major challenge. This was as a result of servicing two hospitals and supply chain logistics due to closure of borders. We have since received a shipment of linen and have adjusted our linen management services to eliminate the shortage of linen.

Telecommunication: The construction and renovation works compromised our network and telecommunication infrastructure. This severely affected our fixed line service. We are working with the telecommunication service provider to rectify the problem. To date, we have restored the telecommunication service in some areas and have an information desk manned with trained personnel to provide information to the general public. This service is available from 7a.m. to 6 p.m. and will soon be extended to 9pm. WIFI service has also been upgraded and is available free of charge.

Drop Off Service: This is a new service offered by the hospital to facilitate the submission of supplies to patients by their loved ones. We encourage the public to adhere to the recommended drop off times to ensure the timely distribution of supplies to patients. The drops off times are: 7a.m, 12 noon and 5 p.m daily.

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