“Who’s Running The Satellite Health Centers?”
I was prompted to write this letter after visiting the Tafuna Health Center to find no doctor on duty, nurses playing on the computers, filthy waiting areas and a general no care attitude from the staff.
I had gone there on the pretext of being seen for my flu symptoms and did not want to drive all the way to the hospital if not really necessary. Well, it ended up with me doing exactly that. I wanted to talk with the Center’s manager to complain but was told she was off island for personal reasons and now for a meeting!!
I then asked to speak to the acting medical director whom I was told was also off island for the next 3 weeks attending meetings!! So who is running the center?? I was pointed to the admin office; ok do the admin people take care of patients??
Are meetings more important than the well being of our people?
And to walk into the clinic, two of the staff were for all to see playing on computers, no one was doing anything healthy of the sort.
Oh I was told they give flu shots, but I would have to be seen first because I was sick and I could not get one. So what do they get paid for??
They could have — at least — been cleaning or checking supplies or something, the center was actually like a ghost town, the only active clinic I could see was the clinic where people were taking their babies and pregnant mothers going for check ups.
I asked if I could see that doctor, but was told the nurse practitioner specializes only in women's health, which is fair enough, at least she was seeing patients. I then decided to ring the main office to complain to the acting director of health,but was told she was not in... How sad that this department seems to be so disjointed.
I remember health department messages urging the public to utilize these health centers to free up the hospital burden and overcrowding, so ok I gave it a shot, and I am sorry it seems like it will be LBJ for me and my family from now on because from what I saw, the health clinics are need of a major overhaul of management and staff who care about our people.
(Editor’s Note: Call before you go the next time — they’re actually very helpful: They will tell you if there is no doctor or health practitioner on duty, and to go to LBJ to be treated in a more timely manner, if you so desire. Not what you want to hear, but certainly less stressful than finding out that nobody is in charge — they’re all off-island attending meetings on how to run a health center more efficiently. ra)