CRH appeals to families to claim abandoned relatives
Dr Delroy Fray, clinical coordinator at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in Montego Bay, St James, is urging the relatives of 41 social patients at the Mt Salem-based facility to collect their loved ones.
Fray made the appeal while addressing Thursday’s monthly meeting of the St James Municipal Corporation, where it was revealed that there are currently only 310 bed-spaces available between the CRH and the Falmouth Public Hospital in Trelawny to accommodate patients. Social patients, who are those who have been discharged but who remain at hospital despite not being ill as their relatives have not turned up to take them home, have been putting pressure on the hospitals’ resources.
“We are now accommodating 310 beds that are shared between CRH and the Falmouth hospital when originally, we were operating at about 420 beds,” said Fray. “Of that number of patients, we have 41 social cases in the hospital that came and were treated, and there’s no relative to collect these patients and give them the support they need at home.
“If you were to remove the 41 patients, it would ease the burden of what we are faced with now,” Fray said. “So I am making a strong plea to families, that if you have patients at the hospital who are abandoned, please come and collect them because they have been treated and we are in need of those beds.”
Fray said that if the 41 needed bed-spaces were to be occupied by persons who are genuinely ill, it would ease the pressure on the CRH’s accident and emergency department, where genuinely ill persons are forced to spend long hours propped up in wheelchairs or on benches.
“When I go on the street, people come to me and ask, ‘What about the overcrowding in the accident and emergency department?’ But if we were able to occupy these 41 beds, it would decrease that overcrowding to much less than what it is today,” said Fray.
Social patients have been a long-standing issue for the CRH as they occupy bed-spaces and use the hospital’s free facilities at the expense of genuinely sick patients. Last June, 28 of the CRH’s social cases were transferred to the private wing of an infirmary in Falmouth at the expense of the health and local government ministries.