Burn victim says hospital staff ignored her
A woman who visited the Mandeville Regional Hospital to have her badly burnt hand treated on Sunday, says she felt neglected by medical authorities.
Kam Geachy, 36, told THE STAR that she was at the institution from approximately 11 a.m. until minutes after 3 p.m. without having her hand fully treated.
"After waiting for hours and not being treated, I was told by the doctor ... that my only option was to go home," she told THE STAR.
While her hand was throbbing in pain, she said she was forced to roam the hospital in search of someone to tend to her injuries.
However, she realised that she wasn't the only one not getting attention.
"I saw children falling asleep on the benches, parents came with pillows for their children to sleep cause they know it is a whole day thing and they tell you to make up your mind to spend the day. Children were there having problems breathing; there were a lot of persons there and nobody was in a hurry to deal with them," she said.
Though doctors didn't tell her what degree burns she received, she said the skin on her hand had completely peeled off.
She was eventually sent to a nurse after speaking to a few officials, who were alarmed that she had not been treated.
"The nurse they sent me to, I stood there watching her and she was just on her phone touching it for sometime before she looked at me," the woman said.
It was not until she visited a health centre on Monday that she managed to have her hand properly dressed and a prescription filled.
Chairman of the Southern Regional Health Authority, Wayne Chen, said it is not unusual for patients to spend hours at the hospital before they are treated as the institution serves approximately 600,000 persons and emergency cases, including accidents and stabbings, take precedence.
Chen insists that the institution isn't short staffed, but said patients have to go through a process before they are looked at as "hospitals don't go by appointments".
"As people turn up, you'll have the health-care professionals but you also have customer service people who will immediately look at the people, and refer them to a nurse who will make a determination as to the seriousness of the condition," he said.