Cabinet addresses problem of long wait times in the emergency room

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Cabinet Notes

The Cabinet questioned the Minister of Health on the SLBMC Emergency Room challenge, where those residents who go there for treatment must seemingly wait for a very long time to receive attention.

The Minister of Health explained that it is not uncommon for personnel assigned to the Emergency Room to call-in sick and, therefore, to reduce the number of personnel available to treat the sick.

He also explained that many patients who show up at the emergency room are really in need of “urgent care” and not “emergency care”.

He said that the Director of the SLBMC surveyed a number of patients who sought treatment at the Emergency Room (E.R.) in a fixed period; the diagnosis offered by the doctors concluded that less than 50% of the patients were of real “emergencies”, but in need of “urgent care”.

The Sir Lester Bird Medical Center is therefore planning to increase the number of doctors and nurses assigned to thhe Emergency Room and to quickly determine which patients fall into which of the two groups and to treat them accordingly.