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Medical Consultant, Dr. Owen James, has urged medical professionals to always extend the highest level of care and respect in the treatment of patients, who attend public institutions.
While acknowledging that medical staff are overworked and are “using brain, brawn and scarce resources to patch up those who should not have been damaged in the first place,” he said that they have an obligation to provide the best care possible to the public.
“The best that we can offer is good medical practice provided by practitioners, who constantly upgrade their skills and experience, and treat every patient with diligence, due care and compassion,” Dr. James stated, as he addressed the third annual awards function of the Mandeville Hospital held recently at Lodge Hall in the Manchester-based town.
“Doctors, nurses and staff need to understand that their role is to make the patient feel and hopefully, get better, not to strut around with a superior air and treat the patient as some unwelcome irritant. We are our brother’s keeper. Nowhere else is this clearly demonstrated as in a hospital where a friendly face, a warm smile, a tender touch can be more welcome and effective than any analgesic or antibiotic,” he added.
While lauding efforts to expand facilities and improve the competencies of administrative staff, Dr. James said: “it is no good achieving a set target of say 50 per cent increase in computer literacy of clerical staff if several patients complain of some form of ill-treatment.”
He encouraged hospitals to conduct regular performance assessments to get the public’s view of the quality of care being provided. “Performance assessments should ideally include a determination of increased patient satisfaction and reduced patient complaints,” he pointed out.
In the meantime, the medical consultant hailed the improvements undertaken at the Mandeville Hospital over the years, to provide quality care to residents of Central Jamaica.
“Over the last 20 years,” he said, “the facility has grown from a cramped little cottage-type hospital with small, ill-lit corridors and limited bed space, to one with big corridors and wonderful bed space.”