Heart patient waiting two months for ‘urgent’ operation
Thursday, February 7 2013
click on pic to zoom in
Minister of Health, Dr Fuad Khan....
Neeranjan Singh, 42, has been waiting since mid-December to receive an angiogram after his doctor wrote to the Ministry of Health stating he needs the test urgently.
When checked, it was confirmed that he is on the list at the CAT Lab in Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) for the angiogram.
When the letter was written mid-December, Singh was told he would be contacted within two to three weeks by someone at the CAT Lab. However, he has not been contacted yet. His wife, Dulari Singh, went to enquire about her husband’s procedure, but she was told she could not speak to the cardiologist.
She is concerned her husband will experience a fatal heart attack while he waits for the angiogram at the EWMSC.
“I was told by the hospital if he has a heart attack to take him to the emergency room. But I am afraid if he is taken in, he will not survive,” she said as she described what the nurses instructed her to do.
Singh had previously suffered three heart attacks, two in 2011, and one in June, 2012. He had an angioplasty to the front of his heart in 2012.
However, his condition has deteriorated. Singh told Newsday her husband currently has five blood clots, and his blood has become thick enough to cause another heart attack.
Singh was going to travel to India to receive a heart transplant in 2011, when he was originally diagnosed. But, given a second opinion by a private specialist, he was told he was too sick to travel, and his heart was too weak for the surgery. He was also told, because of his diabetes, he would not survive the transplant.
The severity of his condition concerns his wife who thought the waiting time for him to have the angiogram was too long for a person in his condition.
“I went begging to speak to the cardiologist today (yesterday) to show the blood test results, but the nurses would not allow me in because I did not have an appointment,” she said.
Minister of Health, Dr Fuad Khan, said he understands Singh’s situation, and he trusts the doctor’s judgement in the EWMSC.
When told that the nurses stopped Singh from speaking with the doctor, Khan expressed his disapproval of the nurse’s actions. He stated he has received constant complaints about the nurses and their poor customer service.
“The nurses tend to block the patients when they need to speak to the doctors. I have been receiving complaints about the Cardiology Clinic regarding the customer service. I have asked the CEO to look into the issue,” he told Newsday during a telephone interview yesterday.
Khan explained that the doctor writes a letter to the cardiologist who would assess if the matter is urgent. If the case is urgent, they would receive the procedure that day, or the day after. Since Singh’s name is already on the waiting list, Khan said all the doctor has to do is speak to his colleague and the patient would receive the care.
Khan is concerned for Singh’s health. He believes Singh is being taken good care of by the doctors at the EWMSC, but hopes the nurses could be more helpful towards the patient..