Wells to Family Members of PMH Boarders: Please, Please, Help Us
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The long standing problem of boarders at the Princess Margaret Hospital is impeding the health facility’s capacity to house individuals infected with the deadly virus.
Speaking on the issue at the Ministry of Health’s COVID Update, Minister of Health Renward Wells said the issue of boarders is affecting the health system and its handling of COVID-19.
“It cannot be right for all ill patients to lose their lives because they cannot access proper facilities at the hospital,” he said
“Our health professionals are hard pressed to find places to care for very ill people. We need those beds,” Wells continued.
He determined that there are 33 boarders at the Princess Margaret Hospital, some, he says, have been discharged for many years, but family members have not taken them home.
In recent days, health officials decried the lack of beds at the facility as the COVID-19 numbers continually climb. Officials say improving health infrastructure to accommodate the cases and ensuring the most efficient use of beds are most critical.
He then made an impassioned plea to family members of the boarders, “Please, please, help us to help you.”
Wells added that to prevent the collapse of the healthcare system, government has instituted lockdowns to establish social distancing protocols to delay the spread, to reduce the number of people getting sick at the same time and allow for more time to improve the capacity to fight the virus.
COVID-19 cases have climbed to 830, with 69 new cases. 719 COVID-19 cases are active cases and 30 are hospitalized.
Wells warned that the country should brace for more COVID-19 deaths.
Former Minister of Health Duane Sands addressed the issue of boarders before his resignation during the pandemic.
At the time, Sands said his ministry was looking into using nursing homes to accomodate the boarders at PMH, as the situation burdened public finances, exacerbating bed shortage at the facility.
He said it costs several million dollars to care for 31 boarders, at the time.