Just 24hrs after President Koroma launched the free health care programme in Sierra Leone hundreds of patients have trooped to the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH) for treatment.
At the PCMH yesterday some sickly pregnant women and under five children had difficulty waiting in the queue for registration due to limited nurses at the hospital, a team of VSO’s introduced the TRIAGE system to identify emergency cases while ‘Welbodi’ doctors from UK are also helping to treat patients.
PCMH Registration Centers were jam-packed with patients some sitting on the bare floor, while others stood by the window to wait for their turn as OSD and SLP personnel controlled the queue of patients.
Matron Ruby Williams of the Ola During Children’s Hospital at PCMH told Awoko that the number of patients coming for treatment has increased by 100% compared to the past.
She however complained that some parents are bringing children that are not sick while others are also coming from distances where there are Government hospitals and clinics but the people are refusing to go there for treatment.
She also disclosed that considering the number of patients coming for treatment all the doctors are now working as a team with concentration on the free medical care programme.
“We don’t want to over use our supply because other hospitals and clinics are providing the same treatment in Freetown” she said.
The Matron also confirmed what some nurse had grumbled about under their breath that the Government is yet to pay the nurses as several of them have visited the commercial banks but their salaries are yet to reflect in their accounts. She called on the government to expedite the payment process.
Alex Paul one of the Doctors from ‘Welbodi UK’ said “we have treated over 340 cases at the hospital and the number is expected to increase, it is difficult but we trying to help” he said.
He said doctors at other Government hospitals and clinics have reported that most patients are not turning up for treatment as the wards are empty “but this place is overcrowded.”
Alex Paul expressed optimism over sustenance of the free health programme, noting that it is good for the health of the people and the development of the country. He assured patients of their commitment and determination to help patients. By Saidu Bah