Hospital Operations Cancelled Again As Temperature Soars


Tribune Chief Reporter


NON-emergency operations at Princess Margaret Hospital have been cancelled again to allow urgent repairs to air-conditioning units in operating theatres.

In a statement last night, PMH said only emergency operations would be carried out until after the coming weekend.

The cancellation of operations came just hours after senior doctors threatened to withdraw services if temperatures in operating theatres at PMH climbed higher than 72 degrees.

Dr Locksley Munroe, president of the Consultant Physician Staff Association (CPSA), told The Tribune the beleaguered facility’s air-conditioning challenges posed a serious health risk to both patients and health care workers.

He said doctors plan to stage a demonstration outside the hospital on Friday after a doctor and a nurse fainted in separate incidents due to the high temperatures.

Surgeries were postponed last week due to the nonfunctioning air-conditioning units but resumed earlier this week.

Yesterday, Dr Munroe said: “Based on the profession, if the temperature is greater than 72 degrees then we are not going to put ourselves, nurses or patients at risk.

“We had a patient undergoing a caesarean section, and the job of one person was fanning the patient because of the heat. When you think about the risk of infection, we the doctors and nurses are supposed to know better. We’re putting people at risk because of the heat, and also the risk of infection.

“It poses a huge risk,” he continued, “if you look all that protective garment you have on about three layers of clothes. You are so hot, it is not a joke, you have on a mask, hat, gown, your outside clothes, and your underclothes. With temperatures above 73 degrees, under those circumstances we are putting ourselves at risk, and patients at risk for infection.”

A doctor fainted on September 1, and a nurse passed out on August 29 and had to be taken to the emergency room.

Yesterday, Dr Munroe said the temperature in operating theatres can exceed 85 degrees as he condemned the horrible working conditions. While temperatures were normal on Tuesday, Dr Munroe said challenges with the air-conditioning system persisted yesterday.

This comes as the CPSA is planning to obtain a strike certificate after failing to finalise an industrial agreement with the PHA despite more than two years of negotiations.

The association filed a trade dispute with the Department of Labour last week.

Last night, PMH said “management apologises for any inconvenience caused and assures the public that it continues to work to deliver the best in quality healthcare.”


TheMadHatter 1 year, 1 month ago

Just close the hospital down. Send everyone home, and bulldoze it to the ground.

At least then we won't have to keep hearing these assinine stories.

How much would it cost to have one security guard next the AC 24 hours a day? Heck, he might even be able to catch one of the many prisoners that escape through the bathroom window (located directly above it) .... :-)


Sickened 1 year, 1 month ago

Hold on! Are you saying the AC compressors were stolen?


alfalfa 1 year, 1 month ago

What a bunch of B/S. How long does it take to repair or replace a non functioning air conditioning system at an institution as important as the Hospital. Management apologizing for any inconvenience caused is laughable. We are talking about peoples health and well being here, and brushing it off as if you were at a movie theatre and the projector broke. A sorry state of affairs for a brand new building. This speaks volumes to the competency of ministry and PHA officials, from the minister on down.


DDK 1 year, 1 month ago

The main Hospital cannot function and we are throwing money at a hurricane ravaged hotel, burning down a main electric plant, allowing a decent Police Officer to be gunned down in broad daylight, taxing The People into despair, allowing gambling houses and shanty towns to thrive, entertaining the likes of OBAN into GB, more Disney monster ships into our pristine waters and sending great delegations to Switzerland to throw ourselves into the jaws of WTO. Will a dedicated party please step forward to save us from this Government, and no, not the former one.


TheMadHatter 1 year, 1 month ago

Yeah, it's "funny" about those 3 BPL fires. Funny. Real funny. Hilarious in fact. It's even more funny that NOBODY will be held accountable. Nobody. Zip. Nada.

Bahamians bend over and pay the bill. Oh, and hurry up and hire back them 50 employees dismissed a while back (today's Guardian). You know better than to "let go" union workers. If ya didn't, well maybe now you know :-)


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