By Anesta Henry
(Barbados Today) – Police officers have been stationed at the Harrison’s Point and Blackman and Gollop isolation facilities to protect frontline workers who are attending to steady increases in COVID-19 cases.
Executive chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland revealed that the facility has been able to get the support of the Royal Barbados Police Force to deploy personnel at the St Lucy and Christ Church centres and consideration is also being given to deploying officers at the hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department (A&ED).
Last week, Head of Infection Prevention at QEH Dr Corey Forde condemned the “disrespect” and “abuse” shown to frontline workers at Harrison’s Point. They were finding it difficult to work under the circumstances, he explained, where they are being recorded by tourists receiving treatment.
Bynoe-Sutherland told Barbados TODAY that the move to have police stationed at the facilities was necessary in order to allow Dr Forde and his staff the right to work without being “molested” by threatening behaviour.
“We have a zero-tolerance to violence against staff at all of our facilities. Having the police presence would allow a real-time response to incidents as they occur,” she said.
Noting the challenges which may form part of the treatment and care in the present environment, the hospital head indicated that authorities were aware that a person who has to be rushed to the A&E is often stressed and frustrated as they face an uncertain situation. She said depending on the symptoms they present with at the A&E and what is found in the screening questionnaires, they are triaged to the respiratory section of A&E where they receive a COVID-19 test.