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“THIS has not been an easy year!”
Those were the words spoken by Executive Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland, as she delivered an address yesterday, during the QEH’s Annual Church Service. Bynoe-Sutherland noted that it has been a difficult year for hospital staff, who have been working long hours amidst the COVID pandemic and for the QEH generally, which has been under the spotlight, over the course of the year.
“This time last year, we were hopeful that 2021 would have brought reprieve from the COVID pandemic. We were extremely hopeful, (but) 2021 has been a year like no other. Forgive me if I say that I think 2021 has licked the stuffing out of many of us. That is a Barbadian expression, but it is true” she remarked.
“We have given so much as an institution. I have seen so many staff members broken. I have seen social media be relentless and out of context, to circumstances that people are revealing. I have seen staff extend themselves beyond capacity. I have seen nurses and staff members come to work at 7:00 a.m. in the morning and not get home until the next day. The term “flexi” is a prominent vocabulary word among the nursing staff of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. I’ve seen staff fearful, fearful for their family because they have been exposed to COVID. We have lost staff, staff that are close to us” the QEH’s Executive Chairman remarked
She added, “We have toiled unrecognized and yet we turn up. Our hearts have been heavy. My heart is heavy, but this morning, this service, this effort by you Canon Noel Burke, by Karen and others in your congregation, this moment is not a moment to be taken for granted, it is so important in the calendar of this hospital, because it is a moment every year where we stop, regardless of what we are doing and we give thanks for the birth of a saviour, because it offers a timely reminder-the birth of Jesus, about the need for hope and to hold on and to remember the circumstances that Mary and Joseph found themselves in and yet they went into a stable and they were able to give birth to a new world and a world as we know it today, under Christ. So this is a season, that regardless of how we feel, we must find joy”.
She meanwhile noted that it is no accident that the institution has been refreshing and re-equipping itself, having invested about $18 million in equipment over the past year.
“We are rebuilding, because it is our vision as a Board to create a space for healing for patients, as well as staff” she stressed. She is meanwhile calling on Barbadians to offer prayers for those at the QEH, even as she asked those at the institution to pray for one another and to celebrate and hold each other up.
Bynoe-Sutherland also asked that the Ghanaian and Cuban nurses who have sacrificed so much to be of service to Barbadians, also be remembered this Christmas. Pointing out that the QEH continues to be “a zone for peace and goodwill” in a sector filled with turmoil, she noted that the QEH not only is thankful to nurses, but stands beside nursing colleagues, as they withstand the pressures and also stand with the QEH to provide the care patients so sorely need.
Source : Barbados Advocate