BVI PATIENTS POORLY TREATED IN
SOME PUERTO RICAN HOSPITALS
of the fourth district Hon. Mark Vanterpool told the Legislative Council
colleagues at the recent sitting on the 30 September that they will be shocked
and surprised to know that sometimes when patients leave for Puerto Rico they
have to wait a long time for attention. He said the hassle that BVI patients
face in some Puerto Rico hospital before they can get the simplest medical
assistance is amazing.
Vanterpool even suggested that the Minister of Health investigate closely some
of the hospitals and places BVI patients are taken to, he said the Minister will
have unexpected surprises.
The Road Town
district representative reported that he has seen patients in a particular
hospital in Puerto Rico cramming four to five corridors from top to bottom on
both sides of the corridor on a cot or bed waiting for service. He stated that
these patients are there for up to 24 hours, and in some cases 48 hours hoping
that someone will come and provide them with some medical attention.
Vanterpool explained that he does not have the facts directly from the source,
but he does know of a case where a patient was flown out of the BVI for urgent
medical attention and still 24 hours after arriving in Puerto Rico no medical
attention was given to that person. He said it is heartrending when patients
have to spend so much money to be air ambulanced to Puerto Rico and when they
arrive they are denied the urgent medical attention that they so badly need.
district representative disclosed that he does not understand when the need is
detected that the patient has to be taken to Puerto Rico why it takes sometimes
up to 8-12 hours, between the time the social worker contacted the hospital and
the air ambulance in Puerto Rico and the actual arrival of the air ambulance
here to take the patient to the destination. Mr. Vanterpool declared that it is
his belief that those eight hours that the patient spends waiting for the air
ambulance to arrive could be very critical in terms of that patient's life being
saved. He said this issue needs to be looked into.
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