… authorities failed to notify Health MinisterPublic Health Minister, Dr George NortonOpposition Shadow Public Health Minister, Dr Frank AnthonyIn light of recent reports that patients with infectious diseases are being forced to stay in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Unit of the Georgetown Public Hospital, Opposition Shadow Public Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony has lambasted hospital officials, saying that poor management is a factor of these issues arising.Earlier this week, it was reported that patients with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis (TB) were forced to stay in the A&E Unit of the medical facility due to overcrowding; some were even forced to stay on the floor. Photographs taken at the hospital were also circulated on the Internet and it has once again sparked outrage from the public.In an exclusive interview with Guyana Times, Dr Antony stated that the situation is deplorable and as such he is urging the relevant authorities to have it rectified. “It is very deplorable because the Georgetown Public Hospital is our national referral hospital. And what I understood is happening there is we have patients who came to the Accident and Emergency for attention, and my understanding is some of the doctors examine the patients and they felt that those patients were sick enough to warrant hospitalisation. However; they couldn’t find beds in the hospital itself and therefore patients were literally waiting for a bed to become available so that they could get into the hospital and that is a deplorable situation and we need to fix that,” he stated.Dr Anthony went on to explain that he was even more appalled when he learnt that patients with infectious diseases were staying among non-infectious patients, which put the later at risk for contracting these diseases. “My understanding is that some of these patients have tuberculosis and that is outrageous. If you’re putting infectious patients with non-infectious patients… you’re basically putting those patients and the staff that’s working there at risk. So we need to find another area where we can treat those patients. My understanding is that they would have rectified the situation but common sense would have told you that this ought to have been done for quite some time,” he stated.Meanwhile, Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton has responded saying that while the authorities have not reported the issue to him, he intends to have the situation rectified as soon as possible.According to the Minister, while he has not yet received a report of such a situation from the hospital authorities, he will not doubt the reports as it is not an uncommon issue. He related that while the hospital has the capacity to house more beds, it cannot do so as the hospital has to follow regulations in relation to the acceptable space between the beds. “There is no doubt that the number of beds available for patients at the GPHC has been greatly reduced after the reconstruction of the new in-patient facility. This was further reduced when the decision was made to increase the space between two beds to suit accepted standards,” he stated.Dr Norton stated that he will ensure that the situation is rectified in a timely manner as this is unacceptable. “All efforts are being made to correct same as soon as possible,” he declared.Earlier this year, there was a similar situation of overcrowding; however, in that instance, mothers were forced to take to chairs and the floor with their newborn babies due to overcrowding in the maternity ward. Early in April, a photograph capturing a mother with her newborn under a bed surfaced in the media, prompting an investigation, but the hospital could not account for when the photographed incident occurred. The overcrowded maternity ward is in dire need of significant improvement, both in the infrastructure and the treatment given. Earlier in the month, Minister Norton had announced that the issue of mothers sharing beds would end soon as the facility is currently being extended.