Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said temporary chillers for the Critical Care Block at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) arrived at the hospital yesterday.
The temporary units arrived days after the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) announced that all non-emergency surgeries had been suspended due to the possible sabotage of the chiller system.
“I’m pleased to say that the trailer is parked in the driveway at PMH,” Sands said outside Cabinet.
“I have been advised that the connection should take about 24 hours, and if all things go as planned, we should be hooked up and ready to go by tomorrow.
So [we will be] back to normal in terms of normal air conditioning.”
In a press release yesterday, the PHA announced that the old main entrance of the hospital would be closed for a period of five months while the issues with the chiller system are resolved.
Asked about the rescheduling of suspended surgeries, Sands said it is unclear how long it will take to resolve the backlog. He was also unable to give a figure for the number of people impacted by the issues.
“They will have to be rescheduled,” he said.
“I can’t say the length of time that it’s going to take to get all of those persons inconvenienced back on the schedule, but certainly I know from the surgical consultants and the anesthesia teams that they are quite willing to try and get the backlog down to a manageable level.”
He added, “The teams consistently, at least orthopedics and vascular surgery, as a routine, work every weekend to reduce the backlog. And so now this has created yet another issue for patients waiting to get certain procedures done.
“The medical teams certainly have tried to keep the levels, the backlog, and the waiting list down. This has now bumped it back up and we’re going to have to determine how that can be most effectively managed. We hope that we don’t have any more problems.”
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish