(MENAFN-Caribbean News Global)
I was planning to visit a sick friend last Saturday, but the 9th floor of St Michaels Hospital was isolated with an outbreak of COVID-19. It also happened on the first floor of La Verendrye (Riverside) Hospital in Fort Francis and the west wing of Rainycrest was also added to a long list of COVID-19 outbreaks across the country.
The usual precautions are taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but are not limited to:
- General visitors will be limited to the lower floors of hospitals.
- Hospice patients can have up to 4 visitors, two at a time, plus 1 essential caregiver.
- Cohort of staff (exposed people will be separated from non-exposed medical staff).
- N95 masks are essential for staff and visitors in all designated areas.
Emergency units in many hospitals are closing for periods of a few days to a week and beyond across the country, especially in medical centers and hospitals in rural areas and small towns. The lack of necessary personnel and the general fatigue of the personnel are the reasons for this continuous action. Staff often take vacations or simply do not return to their employers. Lack of professional assistance, better wages and generally poor working conditions seem to persist in our medical establishments.
Bill 124 has sparked controversy within the Department of Health, various public sector unions and hospital staff. By limiting wage increases to 1% per year, medical and nursing staff in Ontario hospitals are seeking both legal and union action. They have been staffing our hospitals all this time, and the pandemic continues to spread its viral tentacles with no end in sight.
All the weaknesses in our healthcare system before the pandemic hit us, have manifested and continue to manifest. Various governments seem unwilling to spend the necessary funds not only to fight this virus, but also to strengthen the healthcare system that we rely on. Better wages, the massive training of more replacement workers, the extension of COVID protocols within the system, and the investigation of senior living facilities that let their patients down in 2020-2021.
For many of our national and regional governments, the health portfolio has been and continues to be seen as a money pit, absorbing funds that many jurisdictions could use elsewhere.
Working in a hospital is a profession and not a charity. Paying our experienced staff will keep them where they’re needed, not just now, but soon. Many hospitals take on junior staff without the necessary experience to continue.
Experienced medical staff are a lot like essential managers showing their new associates how it’s done. Many of our governments are at fault, putting budgetary concerns ahead of the well-being of our neighbours. This is a global problem. Statistics place the need for new nurses in the Caribbean region at 7,500+, and in Latin and Central America at a further 18,330+.
Imagine how many skilled medical professionals have died due to the pandemic. Tens of thousands and growing every day. All of our hospitals are full and healthcare professionals, including family doctors, are still unprepared for this pandemic, sending many of their patients to the emergency room. A real sh*t show, as many administrations claim that the worst of the pandemic is behind us.
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