Candid discussions at hospital’s open house

POSTED: 10/22/12 12:53 PM

GREAT BAY- The St. Maarten Medical Centre opened up its facilities on Saturday to answer questions on the hospital’s safety. The general lobby area was transformed into an exhibition site where various departments conducted what was referred to as candid discussions on their operations. All levels of management were represented at the event to boost the image of the facility but Director Dr. George Scot was notably absent.

This weekend’s open house is an annual event but became even more important owing to negative publicity and criticism the island’s lone hospital has had to endure over the past three months. Public Relations Officer Juliette Hassell said that the very dedicated staff members were only too eager to show what they do on a daily basis.
“We have the experts and the personnel who provide primary care. There is no better group of people to answer questions that people may have. There is much more that happens behind the scenes of a hospital that people may not be aware of. Today they have an opportunity to see for themselves. We know we are not perfect, no hospital is but our objective is to keep on striving to improve healthcare.”
Hassell made it clear that the hospital is serious about its expansion plans since the organization has been in the same complex for 20 years and it is in need of more space especially to upgrade its critical care unit to meet the needs of a growing population. “We see this as an opportunity to interact with the community. We know that they have questions and look forward to a one on one conversation with members of the public,” she added.

Initially scheduled for 10:00 am, the exhibition started almost an hour later but throughout the day people trickled in to get first hand information on the hospital’s operations. Almost all departments were represented. The Intensive Care Unit displayed the type of ventilators, AEDs and materials that are used as well as videos on pre-hospital care and treatment in case of an emergency. The pediatric and dialysis department also provided a plethora of information. Guided tours were done for the ER and radiology departments. Visitors got the opportunity to see the new (2010) 64 slide CT Scanner that takes detailed pictures for diagnostic treatments. “The community has a chance to acquire information in a non-threatening, calm environment.

Usually when people come to the hospital it is with a lot of anxiety,” Hassell explained.
Fielding questions that Today posed on the hospital’s controversy, Hassell said that “We recognize that people are anxious about the care in the hospital. This open house helps the staff too and the whole community to know what goes on at the SMMC.”

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