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Barbados Today, October 24, 2020 : One of the most critical areas of the state-owned primary acute care medical facility in Barbados is about to undergo a major environmental overhaul.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland revealed today that the pathology laboratory, which had been the subject of a brief walk out by staff back in March this year over environmental problems, will benefit from a phased three-to-five-week industrial cleaning and repair job starting tomorrow.
In fact, Bynoe- Sutherland described the work to be carried out by local firm Environmental Management Solutions as more than just cleaning.
“We have to, over the next three to five weeks, deconstruct and clean a laboratory at the same time we are trying to deliver services. There is going to be expected disruption and we are trying to minimize the impact as much as possible, but we have to respond to the needs of the staff to work in an environment that is healthy and safe,” she told Barbados TODAY.
The QEH CEO explained that the lab, which will also undergo repairs and removal of mold, is a testing facility which does all the blood work that includes haematology, chemistry, microbiology and Serology.
“ It is like they are demolding…The lab is divided into different sections, so they are going to close off and they are going to look at the removal of fungi and mildew. It is a whole process of really removing and doing some repairs to the lab to prevent the buildup of the fungi and mold,” the QEH boss said.
“So when I say it is a critically important function, it means we are trying to get these areas cleaned and still maintain service delivery. So there will be expected disruptions, but we can’t not clean and make the environment a safer environment because it is difficult to do,”Bynoe-Sutherland stated.
Meanwhile, she dismissed reports that there had been an infestation of bed bugs in the out-patients’ clinic of the QEH.
Bynoe-Sutherland told Barbados TODAY bed bugs were found in one chair, the chair was removed and the other pieces of furniture and the area were sanitised.
“If we had an infestation, we would be duty bound according to the Public Health Act, to notify health authorities and have the Environmental Health Department investigate. The affected chair was removed and replaced,” she said.