Acknowledging that “elements of possible malpractice” occur in the public health system, Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Michael Darville said on Saturday officials are doing everything to minimize that and improve service.
Darville, who spoke following a tour of Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), was asked about concerns raised in recent weeks by some over allegations of negligence at the hospital.
“You know, allegations on the delivery of healthcare services is something that is age old,” he said.
“[In] every facility throughout the world, there are elements of possible malpractice and the legal parameters associated with it.
“I cannot point to one hospital anywhere that I’ve been involved in where these allegations have not been brought forth …
“There is a system that is in place, a legal system that is tied in with the Public Hospitals Authority legal system. Any person who feels as if there is an element of malpractice, they have a right to seek legal advice.
“While that is happening, it is our responsibility to minimize those allegations by improving our customer service relations, by putting advocates in place, so that loved ones can constantly be in contact with their loved ones who are on the ward, and any aspect as it relates to malpractice can be brought to the forefront.
“I can assure you, the Public Hospitals Authority, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, we are an open book. We definitely have elements of possible malpractice. You can see it. It happens in the court system.
“But while that is happening, it is our responsibility to improve the service and ensure that we minimize that.”
The issue of negligence was raised after the death of Kenise Darville, a mother of three, who, in a live broadcast from her hospital bed on social media on January 11, pleaded for urgent blood donations.
In her live video, she alleged that she had been neglected at PMH.
Darville’s relatives held a press conference on January 20 where her husband, Jerad Darville, said, “You should never have to be dying and trying to find blood.
“On her dying bed, you ask her to find blood. Where was she to go? Oh, my Lord, be fair. Where was she to go for help?”
Darville ordered an investigation into her death.
There was an outpouring of sympathy on social media after her death with many sharing their experiences at the hospital.
In response to the complaints, Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) Managing Director Aubynette Rolle said, “We are hearing you.”
She said, “I also wanted to address the complaints that we are also hearing is about the lack of respect and compassion for people.
“We take that seriously. So, we are working on that with customer service training.
“We are working to ensure that we are training more patient advocates who will be to the forefront, on the wards, who will be that intermediary to have that conversation between the clinician, family members and loved ones.
“We are hearing you. We are not only picking up one thing, we are hearing you and we are moving forward.”
She said patients with concerns can reach out to the hospital’s client feedback line at 825-3438.