Georgetown Public Hospital tightening security due to violence

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 June 2024, 19:00 by Writer

Chief Executive Officer of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation Mr Robbie Rambarran and Head of the GPHC’s Accident and Emergency Department, Dr Zulfikar Bux.

The state-owned Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) on Wednesday said security was being beefed up to counter violent attacks on wounded patients while they are receiving treatment at the Accident and Emergency Department, an apparent growing trend across the Caribbean.

GPHC Chief Executive Officer, Robbie Rambarran said security guards would be equipped with more handheld scanners to prevent persons from entering the healthcare facility with firearms and other weapons. He said on Tuesday night a man was found with a very long knife in his possession at the hospital.

Head of the hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department, Dr Zulfikar Bux told a news conference that so far for June, there were six reported incidents of violence in his area of responsibility. Against the backdrop of a gang invasion of a hospital in Trinidad to ‘finish off’ an injured man, Dr Bux said there should be concern across the region. “What happened in Trinidad is a real eye-opener for the entire system, not just in Guyana but obviously in Guyana and the world – interpersonal violence that is occurring outside in the public domain being brought into the institution such as the GPHC,” he said

The GPHC’s Accident and Emergency Department recounted this month’s attack on an injured man by several persons while he was being treated. “One case was a person, who was stabbed twice to the chest, came into the Emergency Department and the assailants came to continue the course of action that they started, came into the department and pulled out a knife and actually attempted to stab him. It did cause a small laceration,” he said. The GPHC CEO added that images of the perpetrators were given to the police.

Dr Bux said the entire Accident and Emergency Department’s operations was put under siege by “quite a few attackers” but the victim escaped and sought cover outside.

The hospital officials said such incidents could potentially grind the entire department to a halt at a time when critically-ill patients are treated.

Dr Bux urged the public to be sensitive to the fact that emergency patients with severe conditions are given priority ahead of others who arrived earlier. He warned patients not to take pictures and videos of others at the hospital as a means of preserving patient confidentiality.