Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) Managing Director Aubynette Rolle yesterday urged members of the public to continue to seek care at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) despite multiple personal accounts of alleged neglect made on social media.
The outpouring of reported troubling experiences was motivated by the death of Kenise Darville, a mother of three, whose claims of neglect went viral when she posted a live video on Facebook on January 11, then died just over a week later.
Darville claimed that doctors waited more than a week to tell her that she needed people to donate blood, after previously assuring that blood platelets were ordered for her.
In the viral video, a palpably frustrated Darville accused the doctor who spoke to her of being “causal” when revealing that her blood platelets were dangerously low.
Her death triggered massive public concern.
Rolle responded to a question about public trust in the hospital.
“I want to plead to the public to please do not let that be a deterrent for you to come and get the care that you need,” she said.
“There have been some very not so nice things going on media and when we do that we tend to cause people to be resistant in their approach when they really need that medical attention.
“We do know that this was a serious case. We do know that she was a wife, a mother of three, and also well loved by family members and friends.
“This is not the first time that we have had incidents at the hospital and no other healthcare system is different.”
Minister of Health Dr. Michael Darville has ordered an investigation into the Kenise Darville matter.
Rolle said the investigation is in full swing.
“I’ve been dealing with portions of it yesterday and last night and it will continue,” she said.
While she encouraged individuals to come to the hospital, despite the concerning stories being shared, Rolle also acknowledged that there are several factors that put a strain on the care the hospital offers.
“Yes, we are seeing a full population (of patients),” Rolle explained.
“Every day our census is up to 414 patients, and that is not those who are sitting in the emergency room in what we call virtual spaces.
“They don’t have assigned beds. They are on trolleys, they are on the emergency medical systems stretchers, and so the hospital is full.
“The minister [spoke] about persons with the chronic non-communicable diseases. And so, we have seen a shift in the population. We really have sick people.
“So far, we have been able to send 130 people to Doctors Hospital as our partners just to decompress.”
“Just on the weekend, we partnered with an organization to help us with our boarders. We have 20 boarders in the hospital.”
Rolle said individuals experiencing minor ailments should not wait until the evening to come to the hospital.
“Please use the primary healthcare clinics within your community to be seen,” she urged.