Bahrain's SMC swamped with patients
Manama, September 15, 2010
Doctors at Bahrain's main hospital yesterday reported a huge rush of patients as more than 500 people turned up for treatment between 7am and midday.
Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) sources said the rush, at the Accident and Emergency department, meant more than 50 patients were forced to wait to be admitted to various wards following initial treatment.
'This is chaotic, just like a market,' said one doctor, as he saw patients.
'There are many who need admission but many are being referred to health centres.
The doctor, who declined to be named, said the influx meant staff on duty in the department were forced to see 25 patients an hour.
'According to international norms, we are supposed to see not more than 10 every hour,' he said.
The doctor said the patients were suffering from cold and flu, cuts and bruises and other ailments.
'Only about half of them actually needed emergency treatment,' he said.
A senior hospital official confirmed there was a rush at the department, but said it was 'nothing unusual'.
'We have had a lot of people over the last two days but it just got worse today,' he said.
'We are employing a strict method of triage and referring all those with minor conditions to health centres.'
The official said less number of beds are available for new patients in the last few days because of the Eid holiday.
'The process of discharge of patients had slowed down but is picking up now,' he said.
'Hopefully the situation will be under control by the weekend.'
The official said efforts were underway at the Accident and Emergency Department to minimise patients' discomfort.
'We have made as much room available as possible and will try and accommodate as many as we can,' he said.
'There is no patient without being admitted. They are all officially on hospital rolls but are awaiting transfer to wards.
'This will happen gradually.'
A Health Ministry statement last evening said there were 44 patients waiting for admission to various wards at 2pm yesterday.
'There were three pending admissions on the first day of Eid; one on the second day; 30 on the third day and 42 on Monday,' said an official of the International and Public Relations department.
'A total of 57 patients were also admitted to the hospital yesterday, of which 38 were from the Accident and Emergency department and 19 were elective patients who had to come to the hospital for various procedures.'
Around a third of people queuing up at Bahrain's main hospital were looking for sick leave for the next two days to extend their Eid holiday, it has emerged.
However, a senior Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) doctor confirmed sick notes were given only to those with genuine injuries or conditions that warranted time off.-TradeArabia News Service