Concerns are being raised on the shortage of beds at CWM Hospital’s Emergency Department.
A member of the public approached Fijivillage with a request for the Ministry of Health to look into this matter as his grandmother was not able to get a bed for almost 5 hours in the emergency department two weeks ago despite being in a dire need for one.
He says his grandmother was referred to the CWM Hospital by Doctor Ali from Lami Health Centre, for internal bleeding and blood was seeping into her intestine.
He says she was put on drips in the emergency department waiting area, while sitting around.
He says a doctor told him they can’t do much and that beds are held up with Customs pending proper procedures to let the shipment through.
He says the doctor told him that the hospital is operating on a 150 percent capacity at the moment.
When we raised questions on the issue, the Ministry of Health says individual patient cases cannot be discussed, however the Ministry wants members of the public to know that patients or family members who have grievances can lodge their complaints on the Health Customer Care Centre hotline on 157.
The Ministry says there is no issue of shortage of beds or with beds being held up with Customs.
It says the Emergency Department at CWM Hospital offers treatment for patients whose condition requires urgent intervention.
The Ministry says before deciding to admit a patient, it may be necessary to carry out investigations such as X‑rays or ultrasound, to obtain results of blood tests from the laboratory or to seek advice from specialist doctors.
It says all those steps can take time, but may help to avoid the need for an unnecessary admission.
It says the emergency department staff work hard to ensure patients are sent home or admitted as quickly as possible but it is not unusual for patients to spend some time in the emergency department itself.
It says CWM Hospital, like all major hospitals, faces periods of peak demand for inpatient beds and at those times it may be necessary for staff to spend some time locating an empty bed, or making arrangements to free up space for patients with urgent needs.
The Ministry says on average the occupancy level at CWM Hospital is between 85% and 90%, which is in line with that of other similar hospitals overseas.
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