Apart from last week’s complaints over the absence of an ultrasound machine at the Northern Regional Hospital, there were also allegations of nurses mistreating pregnant patients especially patients who were in labour. Today as we toured the facility, we brought up the issue to the Medical Chief of Staff, Dr. Manuel Estrada, who told us that they have not been receiving any complaints, and thus are unable to take action.
Dr.Manuel Estrada, Medical Chief of Staff, Northern Regional Hospital: “Officially we haven’t received any complaints from any of the patients. Usually, we encourage patients when they have any problems to come to the office and file a formal complaint and in filing a formal complaint we can look at the situation and see what is going on but if they don’t come and do a formal complaint we cannot act. When the file a complaint then the investigation is carried out and then the findings are taken to the regional manager and the regional manager along with the person in charge of lets say if it’s a nurse the matron, in that case, would do the necessary corrective actions, feedback will also be given to the person doing the complaint within fourteen days. We only hear from the media but we don’t hear from the patient themselves.”
Reporter: Okay in the case lets say the story hits the media and you all don’t hear about it, you guys still investigate?
Dr.Manuel Estrada, Medical Chief of Staff, Northern Regional Hospital: “Yes we still do an investigation.”
Reporter: So was there any investigation launched?
Dr.Manuel Estrada, Medical Chief of Staff, Northern Regional Hospital: “It’s still ongoing.”
Reporter: Do you guys wait for a complaint or can you just go in there and start investigating or keep an eye out on how the nurses are treating their patients?”
Dr.Manuel Estrada, Medical Chief of Staff, Northern Regional Hospital: “Usually the supervisor is there to see what is going on in the wards and they would go and do rounds and they would find out if they have any situation. What surprises me is that the patients themselves when the supervisors are around they don’t express their situation, they would go and rather express it to the media and facebook etc and they would not express it directly to the person who can really do the change.”
Reporter: Is there any way to maybe do surveillance to see how nurses behave when no supervisors are around?
Dr.Manuel Estrada, Medical Chief of Staff, Northern Regional Hospital: “We can increase surveillance yes and also we a matron who is the one in charge of all the nurses etc and she is the one that does surprise visits, she would go up to wards and sometimes they wait after five and wait and be around to see if there are any situations.”
Dr. Estrada encouraged patients to come forward with their complaints, whether verbally or by filling out a complaint form.