Call being made for 24-hour polyclinics

A Retired Chief Health Planner has made the call for two or three of this island’s polyclinics to operate on a 24-hour basis.

Samuel Deane explained that such a move would reduce the waiting time of individuals who go to the Accident and Emergency Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), as these persons could go to those polyclinics instead. He also suggested that these locations would handle the minor cases and this could assist with cutting the cost of providing health care at the QEH.

“They [the polyclinics] close off at a time when people who have emergencies or in some cases where non-emergencies do occur, but people turn up at Accident and Emergency for service and then they wait 10 to 12 or so hours and are not seen because of the protocols; they are not emergencies. They clog the system.”

He continued, “…the same way we have one private urgent care centre operating on a 24-hour basis, we can outfit two or three or so polyclinics – not all, it is not necessary to do all – and where the population once they know that the place is opened and available and that they will get quality care, they can go and get that care and that will take a considerable load off the acute hospital. You must remember too that the acute hospital is a place that is fairly expensive to run and when you put cases in a hospital that are not necessary to be there, you are fostering an inefficient use of resources, so that is my recommendation.”

Deane added that the polyclinics which will be operating for 24-hours would need to have the necessary diagnostic equipment and necessary amount of doctors to provide care to the public.

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