MHMS on bed shortage  - Solomon Star News

MHMS on bed shortage 

16 February 2021
CEO of the National Referral Hospital, Dr. George Malefoasi.

THE Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) through the National Referral Hospital (NRH) management is working on a plan to sort out bed shortage at the country’s main hospital.

This followed a report that the Emergency Department (ED) at the NRH sees 60 to 100 patients per day with only 20 beds available.

As a result, some of the patients had to be admitted without a bed.

Dr. George Malefoasi, NRH’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in a published report said such overcrowding can contribute to more illness and death.

He said doctors and nurses along with the management are continuously engaging in monitoring, discussing, and finding ways to manage the bed demand and shortage issues as a daily routine as well as longer strategic measures.

“The ideal situation is providing more beds which means building additional wards and so on but this is medium and long term plan of the Solomon Islands Government.

“First, at the ED, the management is buying additional mattresses for patients to use whilst proper beds are freed up. Communication among departments and ED will be strengthened, and bed management will be strengthened. 

“Hence, a study on the patient flow in the hospital will be undertaken soon in a few days’ time. The objective is to identify local barriers to effective patient flow and provide recommendations of potential strategies that may more effectively support patient flow,” the report said.

Secondly at the moment, at the clinical level (wards), nurses and doctors in-charge will ensure patients are discharged on time. 

The clinicians ensure the discharge protocols are followed, and a diagnosis is reached quickly and the right treatment prescribed as much as possible within their allowed days of stay in the hospital, the report added.

Third, there is a ‘bed-sharing measure’ which is activated so that patients from ED could be transferred for admissions on time and help free up beds at the ED. 

“Bed-sharing will happen in the wards to allow other departments to accommodate other patients and secondly there is a ward space identified for 1-2 beds to accommodate spill-over of ED patients without beds. 

“This is short term and temporary measures whilst long term change happened,” he said.

Malefoasi said one of the measures still at a negotiation and discussion stage is with the doctors at the Good Samaritan Hospital and the Health Director for Guadalcanal Province to relocate long-staying patients there.

By FOLLET JOHN                                                                                                                                                                 
Newsroom, Honiara