Social Services visit to Region 10Visits by the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Social Services to several hospitals in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) last year have unearthed a number of issues, some of which had the potential to impede patient care.At the Kwakwani Hospital, the Committee discovered that there were several pieces of equipment the Hospital was in need of but did not have. In its sixth special report released recently, the Committee noted that complaints flowed about the Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU).A section of the Kwakwani HospitalChief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Linden Hospital Complex, Dr Mohamed Riyasat, who briefed Chairperson Dr Vindhya Persaud and members of the team, described the visit as the first from the Committee to the facility.He informed them that the ICU of the Kwakwani Hospital was not fully equipped. In fact, there was only one monitor attached to the department.“The staff of the unit also vented their concerns about the lack of monitors, defibrillators, and ventilators in the department. The CEO told the delegation that all the equipment in the department were working and there were six nurses attached to the unit. At the time of the visit, there were no high-risk babies in the unit.”In addition, there were issues with the structural defects in the operating theatre, including holes in the wall, though the CEO informed the Committee that works on the wall were budgeted for 2017.“There were also enquiries about the amount of anaesthetics available and [they] were told there were enough to do surgeries. However, there is a problem with sutures. Members were further informed that there is a specific type of needle called a cutting edge, which has been out of stock for the past two weeks and the alternative round body is used, but is difficult to handle.”RecommendationsDuring the course of their visit, the Committee members had interactions with Dr Quincy Jones. While he is a general doctor, he also holds a Degree in Public Health with a specialisation in health policy and financing.“Members enquired what improvements are needed at the hospital and he indicated that behavioural changes were needed across board. He also indicated that he did a study on whether Linden should go as a Regional Health Authority (RHA) or corporation and he had found that it would be good to make the hospital a corporation in the short term and a RHA in the long term.”That being said, he noted that there were challenges to establishing a RHA and as such, he recommended that the Hospital be a corporation first. In their report, the Parliamentary Committee recommended there be an investigation into the benefits a RHA would bring versus a corporation.