No oxygen in health centers and hospitals

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A sick newborn transfered from Gn. Fuvahmulah Atoll Hospital to S. Hithadhoo Regional Hospital bacause of lack of oxygen at the former health facility. [Translation; Minivan Daily]

This report was very concerning. We alerted our team to do a quick investigation and below are our findings.

The story is factual. The baby was transfered to HRH (Hithadhoo Regional Hospital) because baby was having respiratory distress and the oxygen supply at Fuahmulah Atoll Hospital was running out. Our affiliates at HRH confirm that the baby was received at the regional hospital and that the baby is improving.

On a more concerning note though, we can confirm that the lack of oxygen is a problem across all government health facilities including IGMH. Our affiliates within IGMH confirm that apart from a few cylinders, IGMH is running very low on oxygen.

STO and Maldive gas are the suppliers of oxygen to IGMH and DMS (Department of Medical Services). Apparently a financial conflict between the suppliers and the institutions is responsible for the grave situation. Overdue invoices and mismanagement of stock maintenance has put the health of many of our most vulnerable in jeopardy. Jazeera Daily is the only local paper to report on this issue.

As Dr Yasir was unavailable for comment, we tried to call Dr Solih (Executive Director General, IGMH) to inquire about the situation. As custom, his phone was also in silent mode! We were told that Alibe' (Director General, IGMH) was the next in command at IGMH. He and 2 other senior executive, we were told were unavilable at this time, as they were at the Peoples Majlis.

In the atolls, the situatation is different at different centers. At most places there was no oxygen available anyway, because they never had any. However, at most of the health centers report that they have enough oxygen (some reportedly have one extra cylinder on standby! That is 2 cylinders in total).

If the situation does not improve over the next day or so, we will see patients being transfered abroad for oxygen! "Patients in IGMH ICU are high risk of oxygen deprived brain injury in the next 48hrs if things do not improve" said one staff working there. It is a scary thought and a scandalous statement and she may be right too.

The incompetence, corruption, mismanagement and poor planning at IGMH, MoH.....across the board in our health services is putting our lives at risk.


justiceleague said...

"No oxygen"?

I can't believe you. You exaggerate too much.

Medical Investigator said...

This extra information we have obtained on the situation is not presented just to make justiceleague change his/her mind:

# A notice was circulated within IGMH from Medical Admin /CEOs office advising all doctors and nurses to limit use of oxygen to those cases where absolutely necessary,BECAUSE OF AN ACUTE SHORTAGE OF CYLINDERS!!!

# Emergency, crisi meeting held between IGMH and Maldive gas/STO to address the issue of unpaid bills.

We can confirm that the situation has significantly improved since this story was reported by MMW, Haveeru, Jazeera and other media outlets.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing up this issue... It is a sad fact that hospitals and health centers sometimes lack oxygen and other vital medication such as insulin.. Heads of these insitutions should be held to account..

justiceleague said...

@medical investigator

That extra info does happen to change my mind.

If I were a doctor and was told to "limit" the use of oxygen to my patients, I would be very concerned too.

It is good to hear that the situation is better now. I hope that such a thing won't happen again.

Good work! I hope you will check on this later and see that it doesn't happen.

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