Mandeville Regional Hospital in emergency modeWednesday, August 11, 2021
MANDEVILLE, Manchester — As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to increase, operations at Mandeville Regional Hospital have been scaled down to emergencies after the facility exceeded its COVID-19 ward capacity.
Senior medical officer at the hospital, Dr Everton McIntosh, told the Jamaica Observer Monday that staff at the facility were hoping for the best as it was still early days.
“We have to monitor on an ongoing basis, day by day, to see how it unfolds. We are prepared for the worst, but we [are] hoping for the best,” he said by telephone.
Jamaica is now in the third wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic, leading to major hospitals across the island exceeding their COVID-19 ward capacity.
Mandeville Regional has a bed capacity of 44 for COVID-19 patients.
“The COVID ward is completely full – [over] its capacity… We had repurposed a paediatric ward for the overflow,” Dr McIntosh said.
Just last week regional technical director at the Southern Regional Health Authority Dr Vitillius Holder told the Observer that bed space occupancy across five hospitals in the region was at 46 per cent.
However, with a surge in cases, facilities such as Mandeville Regional have postponed surgeries and sent home non-critical patients to accommodate the increase in COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalisation.
The Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA) is responsible for oversight of health facilities and services in Manchester, Clarendon, and St Elizabeth.
The region, up to last week, had a bed capacity of 96 beds in total for COVID-19 wards at the Mandeville Regional, Percy Junor, May Pen, Lionel Town, and Black River hospitals.
With 120 doctors at the Mandeville Regional Hospital Dr McIntosh said, “So far we are coping. It is early days yet.”
He couldn't indicate whether any medical staff had to be called off their vacation leave to assist at the hospital.
– Kasey Williams