Overcrowding vs Infant Mortality


We all agree that there is an overcrowding problem to address at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC).However, that issue somewhat fell to the back burner in light of all the deaths related to childbirth at the EWMSC that has made it's share of headlines in recent times. Now that the Government, through its Ministry of Health, has opened two new wards: '18' and '20',  can we now hope for some more attention to be given to  the Maternity Ward in the immediate future? 

Which is worse: "it's so overcrowded in there I won't get a bed" or  "I am not going there. There is a good chance that my baby and I will die if I give birth there" . These are typical refrains from citizens having to deal with the medical complex. How do you receive that?How do you address that? 

 In the interim, Ward '18' is an Adult Admitting Ward, which will serve as a holding bay and filter clinic-facilitating patients who are to be warded on both the Adult Medical and Adult Surgical Wards and are waiting to be placed in beds. Meanwhile Ward '20' has been made as an extension of the Adult Medical Ward '4' and is expected to accommodate the overflow of patients belonging to that Ward. With a total of 450 adult bed space at the Complex, let us hope that our Government will not stop at two new Wards to address overcrowding, especially when there's a big empty fully equipped hospital off the highway near Couva. The Minister of Health needs to keep to the promise of 'continued efforts to ensure quality healthcare in T&T and to address overcrowding and insufficient bed space at public hospitals.' while not forgetting that people  are dying during child birth far too often and that too needs to be addressed post-haste.


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