No space for the sick - Mother protests outside Bustamante Hospital for Children

October 09, 2019
Camille Bowen protesting in front of the Bustamante Hospital for Children last Friday.
Camille Bowen protesting in front of the Bustamante Hospital for Children last Friday.

A mother was livid as she protested outside the Bustamante Hospital for Children last Friday, after her baby was released despite still feeling ill.

Sweat dripped down her face as she marched in circles and religiously chanted 'no bed, no bed!'

"The situation is that there are so many different complaints coming in the hospital, but the problem is admission. When the children are to be admitted, no bed space. Parents are here like now (6 p.m.) and they will not get a bed until like tomorrow morning, that's how bad it is," a distressed Camille Bowen told THE STAR.

Bowen says her child was discharged despite not recovering.

"My child is five and he's a sickler (suffers with sickle cell disease) and they sent him out because they wanted the bed space and him neva even did get betta good. I am saying it is so wrong. It's not fair! How can you have a mother coming in like 6 o' clock and all tomorrow morning, midday possibly, you still don't get a bed? And yuh have young baby?" she said.

Bowen suggested that if the hospital is overrun, then the health minister and prime minister should step in and "Have some other hospital house some of the children dem".

"The Government has the power to find some other alternative for these patients. I'm not talking about my child alone. I have two other mothers that were on the same ward as my child. They have to come back because their children are still having the same symptoms," she said.

Frustrated parents

Bowen, however, defended the nurses and doctors who angry, frustrated parents usually blame.

"If the ward can only accommodate 20 beds, there's no space to put another five. So I'm saying, dem need help. And it's not fair on the nurses and doctors. It's frustrating for the doctors and nurses as well. Each and every child that goes up on the ward to be admitted, the nurses or the doctors have to be the one telling us 'Mother, you have to wait because there's no bed'. It is not the doctors' or the nurses' responsibility. It's just their place of work," she said.

CEO for the hospital, Camile Panton, told THE STAR that there is no bed shortage, citing the hospital had 253 beds. She said the issue was "over capacity".

"We don't have space to put beds, unless we build more wards, which we have plans afoot. But you know these plans can't get off the ground at any one time. We have to ask the public to bear with us," she said.

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