THE treatment of patients in the public wards at the Princess Margaret Hospital was compared with "legalised apartheid" yesterday.
Tribune publisher Robert Carron, former Deputy Chairman of the Public Hospitals Authority board, explained there was a stark contrast between the treatment of public and private patients.
Mr Carron said he was forewarned by Health Minister Dr Duane Sands before taking up the board post but did not understand until he personally witnessed the distinct difference in care.
"If you go by the PMH, it's absolutely legalised apartheid that is practiced up there," Mr Carron said on Guardian show The Revolution, "that's what Dr Sands said and I thought it was a bit harsh but going up there I understand completely.
"You cannot have that. It has to end and it has to end now."
Mr Carron continued: "When you go to a hospital anywhere else in the world, if you were injured playing a game they don't say to you 'Excuse me, do you have the means or you don't?'
"You're treated in the same room, with the same physicians, with the same staff agnostic of if you can pay or if you cannot pay. That's a decision they have later.
"So what I say that to mean is you are a 100 percent higher more likely to die in the public wards according to that same report than you are in the private wards. But it's the same for everybody."
Mr Carron was referring to a report prepared for a PHA board committee that was formed to transform the country's delivery of healthcare.
Among critical needs assessed were: fast-tracking the refurbishment of the PMH A&E Department; reallocating funds - which had been diverted by the PLP - back into completing critical repairs to hurricane damaged wards and PMH roof; restoring vendor relationships and paying off years of accounts receivables to ensure the supply of medicines and supplies; ordering new radiology equipment; getting ambulances repaired and back on the road; replacing washing machines and ordering sanitisation machines for the laundry; and instilling a culture of accountability and teamwork focused on patient care.
"It was a whole team of us that were doing it and his mandate was to eradicate the toxic combination of systemic corruption, lackadaisical leadership, nepotism, entitlement and all the other things that bring (the hospital) to what you see is unconscionable neglect, that lack of accountability," said Mr Carron.