September 10, 2021
TOP public health officials have warned that the country cannot sustain the continued rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations "for much longer" as both resources and staff remain stretched beyond capacity.
Julian Rolle, Public Hospitals Authority chairman, said COVID-19 has strained public health, leaving the system completely “overburdened” and in “unprecedented stress.”
“Our doctors and nurses are worn out with the unrelenting pressure being caused by COVID-19,” he said during a virtual press conference Friday. “Presently, about five to 10 percent of our staff is quarantined due to exposure to the virus.”
“Some staff members have had multiple quarantines and the number of staff unable to perform their duties due to quarantine has now reached the point where it’s becoming difficult to staff our facilities properly.”
Dr Crystal Wells, of Princess Margaret Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department said the hospital is currently in the worst state it has ever been in since the pandemic began.
She said due to increasing COVID-19 cases and limited bed capacity, officials have been forced to render care in PMH’s food court, on the porch among other places.
“When we compare this third wave to that of the first and second, this is brutal and relentless due to the high volume of COVID and non-COVID presenting to the emergency department for acute care,” Dr Wells said, adding that workers are burnt out.
“At this time, we have exhausted all available spaces in our current footprint. In terms of our COVID response, we have extended into the old geno-practice clinic as well as the food court of Princess Margaret Hospital and once again, we are rendering acute care on the porch.”
“…People are dying from COVID-19 and we cannot sustain what is happening in terms of our health care and providing care. We cannot continue like this.”
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