Health Minister awaits update on recent strike at PMH

Health Minister, Dr. Duane Sands.

In response to Eyewitness News’ question if the Princess Margaret Hospital’s (PMH) registration desk being closed to the public on Monday was allegedly due to a sick-out by hospital staff, Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands indicated Tuesday morning outside Cabinet that he is still waiting on an update as to the real reason.

“I haven’t gotten an update this morning, we’ll have to see what happens,” Dr. Sands said.

“Obviously, these things are self-limited in terms of the requirement for a Doctor’s certificate after a period of time…”

Eyewitness News Monday reported that the shutdown left dozens inconvenienced, with registration having to be moved to the hospital’s Accident and Emergency (A&E).

Dr. Sands pointed out that PMH is “an extremely busy place and clearly we have some challenges.”

“How do you balance the number of registration staff to the number of patients we see,” he asked.

According to Dr. Sands, 55,000 or so patients are seen on average in the Emergency Room (ER), with another 60 or 70,000 in general practice clinic.

“Add to that pharmacy and you have in a course of the day a lot of patients,” the health minister confirmed.

The alleged sick-out adds to the list of problems the hospital is experiencing including an inoperable Computer Tomography (CT) machine, broken elevators and mold in the maternity ward.