June 28, 2012:
Minister of Health, Dr Fuad Khan called on local media professionals to look at the “ills and pre-conceived ills of the health sector” when conducting research.
The minister was addressing medical personnel at the 18th Medical Update and Research Conference of the Trinidad and Tobago Medical Association at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain.
He noted there was a need to do research on the local health system, particularly on the topic of slow patient care. The minister brought into focus the Accident and Emergency Department (AE) of the regional health authorities where he suggested that a study be conducted on the waiting time at AE and its impact on the status of patients.
Khan spoke of the low discharge rate at the nation's hospitals.
"Is the discharge rate lower on weekends? Why? Are the senior doctors present for weekend discharges? Is this the reason for the unavailability of bed spaces for acute patients?" queried the minister.
He also spoke on blood investigations at the AE, wards and clinics, as well as the time taken to deliver results.
In addition, the minister also spoke on the early closure of health offices, querying whether this could be responsible for the flood of non-emergency patients at the AE on evenings and on weekends.=
"Can we decrease the volume of patients that are non-acute if the health offices open later? Should we increase the investigational procedures at the health offices, such as x-rays and labs?" he asked.