Waiting time decreases at GPHC’s A&E unit

There has been a significant decline in the waiting time that patients spend at the Accident and Emergency Unit (A&E) of the Georgetown Public Hospital while the number of patient referrals have significantly increased in 2023.

Speaking at the hospital’s end-of-year press conference, the Head of the Accident and Emergency department Dr. Zulfikar Bux noted that improvement aimed to make patients more comfortable while treating the various cases which arise out of accidents and emergencies.

Head of the Accident and Emergency department Dr. Zulfikar Bux

“As I speak with you currently, our average waiting time is 1 hour 4 minutes. This is unrivalled in the Caribbean and even North America and the developed world, for a level one trauma centre to have such a response time its incomparable,” Dr Bux stated.

Dr. Bux stated that figures over the last three years show that the average waiting time was 2 hours 30 minutes.

He said that the unit has also seen a 20% increase in admissions from the department in comparison to the last three years, with 12,849 admissions up to November 2023.

The department serves as an emergency hub for cases that cannot be managed by other outlying, regional and private hospitals, and is the only A&E that is staffed with emergency specialist nurses and doctors 24/7.

“Our patient numbers have increased drastically. We’ve seen more than 50 thousand patients in 2023 if you compare from 2020 to now, that’s a 40 percent increase in patient load. So, 40 percent in patient-load and still managed to decrease waiting times. Referral from hospitals have increased. There has been [a] 38 percent increase in referrals from hospitals throughout the country. We currently seen 6,785 referrals from hospitals throughout the country,” he stated.

He noted that the improvements allude to the excellent work of the staff of the department as it is the most fast-paced department.

The A&E department has also played a major role in responding to national emergencies like the Mahdia Fire and the recent GDF helicopter crash, managing survivors and delivering effective care.

In addition, with the growth in the economy, the department has also been involved in planning conferences, expos and state visits to ensure medical coverage and emergency management.

Dr. Bux noted that the department will seek to work with internal development partners to train local staff in patient experience training courses, to respond to patients in a better way.

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