Comfort until the very point of leaving
JUST?LAST?FRIDAY, chief executive officer Dr Dexter James let it be known that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital was not a hotel. It simply was no place for discharged patients to loll in.
Dr James wasn’t half as harsh as his words seemed; he simply was urging relatives and friends of patients discharged by the QEH to pick them up in appropriate time. Actually by 5 p.m. of the day of discharge.
This is not the first time Dr James has had to speak to the delinquency of relatives and friends in collecting their own from the hospital. Indeed, there has been the bad practice of the discharged elderly being abandoned at the QEH by family.
It has not been unknown either for many of our older folk to be surreptitiously dumped at our Queen Elizabeth Hospital – a matter the very Minister of Health Donville Inniss himself has spoken out against – and while there has been little outcry from its management of late over the repulsive act, we still need to be convinced that it has ended.
When Dr James on Friday alluded to the tardiness of relatives in picking up discharged patients, he made no specific mention of the elderly, but we have every reason to believe the old would be included in the circumstance the CEO is trying to obviate.
We hold that the aged should be treated with love, respect and dignity and we are pleased that Dr James has provided ten discharge lounges that will see patients in some dignified comfort until their family pick them up.
Thank God, our Queen Elizabeth Hospital seeks to live up to its reputation across the Caribbean and beyond.
But, as Dr James has pointed out, the QEH is not a hotel. It is not a resort for exotic cuisine, five-star service and lazing the time away.
We expect that good sense and responsibility will dictate to families and friends that the ten lounges provided for their discharged members are not an excuse for continued or fresh abandonment of their elder flesh and blood especially.
So while we applaud the discharge lounges project of the hospital, we can’t help but wonder if the unscrupulous will seek to gain advantage by these new creature comforts at the hospital to the disillusionment of our elders.
We are yet to strengthen the law to deal with such abusers of our elderly and of their human rights. We are yet to see materialized this much touted security policy for the old.
Still, we thank God for Bishop John Holder and his Anglican Church’s kindness and contribution toward making the discharge lounges a reality.