We were horrified to read Barbados Free Press articles about the current conditions at the QEH, and especially to see the graphic photo described in one article as one of the patient bathrooms.

Bathroom
Other images can be found at one BFP QEH story.

 

Although we spend most of our time in the USA, the land of our birth is still very precious to us, and we visit as often as possible. The QEH seems to get a very low priority from the BLP government, far below the flyovers, new prison and Cricket World Cup. If the DLP is elected next time, we hope that they will do a better job at maintaining the hospital. One CBC viewer reported that the new prison looked “beautiful” - maybe the QEH patients and the prisoners could swap quarters!

Over the years, we have picked up many anecdotes of personal Bajan experiences at the QEH. Hopefully, not all these could happen nowadays.

  • Roaches
    One source can remember a public ward with cockroaches running on the floor. He said that his father was very happy with the care he received from the staff and thoroughly enjoyed the company of the other patients. The source was not too worried until he saw a roach running on his father’s IV tube!
  • End of Life Issues
    Another visitor took her dying husband to the hospital with the realization that these were his last moments on earth. One nurse was extremely rough and unkind. The nurse asked the soon-to-be widow if she was able to lift her husband. When the visitor replied that she could not, the nurse brusquely ordered her to leave. Surely there must be some room for compassion in such a situation? We must note that all interviewed mentioned the care, competence and professionalism of the attending nurses.
  • Not sure on this one
    In the good old days, one of our sources remembered that there was a serious disease outbreak in the Barbadian pig population. The story goes that one or more local pig farmers had found a source of inexpensive pig food - leftovers form the QEH, delivered by QEH official ambulances! If anyone remembers this story, please let us know!
  • The Five-Star Hotel
    A more recent story happened to the writers of this blog. A dear friend was in hospital in Miami, and a family member who had just arrived from Barbados went to see her. When we arrived at the hospital, there were several unintelligible murmurs from the Bajan visitor. After we arrived at the patient’s room, he finally burst out with words to the effect “Y’all think I foolish? This ain’t no hospital - this is a five-star hotel!”
  • Almost a disaster
    Decades ago, when the QEH was in better repair, and the world was a less-regulated place, a young woman went into the QEH for minor surgery. The night before the surgery, she heard a nearby private patient, an older lady also awaiting minor surgery, demanding matches so that she could smoke. The harried nurse gave her the matches, and left. Then the young woman heard the sound of matches being repeatedly struck, and, out of a mild sense of anxiety, strolled by the room, only to see the patient in the process of setting her bed on fire. A nurse was quickly summoned, and the disaster was averted. It was only when the patient started calling for her doctor by name (the distinguished Dr. Mahy), that it became obvious that she was a mental patient from a very different institution who just happened to need standard surgery for an unrelated ailment!

Here are some links to other QEH Stories

Cancellations and delays of surgical procedures

Waiting and interaction times for patients

Surgery-The Bajan Experience (pdf)