Salmaniya beds crisis 'solved'
Manama, August 27, 2008
The shortage of beds at the Salmaniya Medical Complex in Bahrain has been tackled by moving patients who no longer need them, officials declared on Tuesday.
'A bed utilisation team is at work at the hospital and is engaged in freeing up beds which are occupied by patients who are either waiting for tests, or otherwise do not need to be there,' said SMC chief executive Dr Waled Khalifa Al Mana.
'The team is co-ordinating with doctors and administrators and has managed to free between 10 and 15 beds per day in the last one week.
'This has resulted in virtually a 'zero' waiting list at the Accident and Emergency Department,' he told our sister publication the Gulf Daily News.
There have been between 15 to 20 patients a day awaiting admission after emergency treatment, though the queue was normally cleared by the evening, said Dr Al Mana.
'What we are doing now is resulting in almost no one waiting for admission at any time.'
But he said no patient who needed to be at the hospital was being asked to leave.
'Some elderly patients are being moved to the Kanoo Community Centre near the hospital, while some others are being referred to the elderly care homes located at Bahrain's maternity hospitals. This is freeing up space,' said Dr Al Mana.
'The relatives of some patients are being contacted to take them home and appointments are being given to them.'
A major area of concern is expatriate patients who are in the hospital with no one to care for them, he said.
'On an average, there are between 20 to 25 such patients at any given time, who are awaiting repatriation,' said Dr Al Mana.
He said embassies, particularly the Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi missions, were helping out with the aid of social workers and philanthropists
'We cannot just let the patients go if they are awaiting procedures,' said Dr Al Mana.
'The immigration authorities are also being contacted so that their cases could be expedited.'
He denied there had been any negligence in treatment at the hospital.
'We have had no critically-ill patient being turned away,' said Dr Al Mana.
Even if there is no bed available, critical patients are looked after in the Accident and Emergency Department,' he said.
'Their care is not compromised at all,' said Dr Al Mana.
He promised speedy investigation into cases of alleged negligence filed by patients and their relatives.
'We are changing the system of investigation and reporting, the results of which will soon be visible,' said Dr Al Mana.
Earlier, SMC chief of medical staff Dr Adel Al Jishi blamed a chronic lack of beds for increasing patient complaints at the hospital.
He said most of the recent cases of alleged negligence could be attributed to the bed shortages, particularly in the hospital's maternity unit.
Dr Al Jishi said said 23,853 patients were admitted in the first six months of this year, which translated to nearly 160 patients a day and that a hospital with less than 1,000 beds was just not able to cope. - TradeArabia News Service
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