After inspection, surveillance and control activities, personnel from the Sector Health Secretariat of Antioquia sealed this Wednesday, September 28, some services of the General Hospital of Medellin (HGM) from “Breach of the Single Permit System.”
Sources in the institution said that the closures have been made in several offices, among which will be hospitalization of pediatric cancer patients, an ultrasound room, some operating rooms and pediatric beds. However, the Health Service has not yet published official information on this matter.
The HGM issued a statement stating this the inspection visit was made in this month of September as part of compliance with the provisions of the Uniform Permit System, in accordance with the provisions of Resolution 3100 of 2019, Resolution 2003 of 2014, etc.
The health facility also indicated in the statement that, given the results of the visit, they ratify their commitment to providing “dignified, humanized, safe and quality” services, a task in which they strive to fulfill daily, specifying that several observations have already been implemented of the departmental dependency with which aspects have been corrected.
Some recommendations, the statement continued, are related to administrative issues and are currently being corrected. Other measures relate to services that have not been provided for several years (such as skin transplantation).
“We are aware that we will resolve the observations in the shortest possible time and we are already working in this direction. We appreciate these early warnings are given as part of health service review, continuous improvement and improvement plans that do not affect their delivery so that patient care is ensured to be safe, timely and effective,” the hospital said.
in turn Sinprogen, the hospital’s union, gave its version of events in a public statement. The union was adamant that the employees had fully fulfilled their obligations for quality service to consumers. Step by step, the union is calling on the administration to listen to the demands of the employees and is making itself available to move the institution forward from the difficult time it is going through. “The official must always make every effort so that his work is in optimal conditions and provide all his productive capacity to the institution, but it is the company that must put at his disposal the elements to carry out this productivity”, said in the statement.
A few hours after the sealing became known, the separate secretary of Health of Antioquia, Ligia Amparo Torres, said that the decision taken was aimed at “the quality of the service and the well-being of the population.” In this sense, visits are made to service providers, and this is done at the General Hospital. “We have completed the visit and we still do not have the full report, for which we have a set deadline (…) Once the measures of some services that were subject to partial closure are adjusted, they can be lifted to improve the health service said the employee.
Despite the statements, the secretariat did not explain in detail what the reasons were for the measures to be taken. EL COLOMBIANO contacted the press office of this unit and from there they replied that what was expressed by the secretary is what can be shared for the moment and that later, when the report is completed, the details of the decision will be told .
It is not the first time that the general hospital has been in controversy. Indeed, in recent months there have been several headlines in the press, almost always negative, mentioning the institution. For example, on August 10, EL COLOMBIANO published a note proving the deficiencies found by an audit in a multi-million dollar contract signed by the hospital.
In a 37-page document drawn up based on the testimony of nurses, doctors, specialists and patients, dozens of objections appear, ranging from failure to meet delivery schedules to episodes in which patients’ lives were put at risk due to gross negligence. “(…) the audit notes that as of May 31, there were 113 complaints about the food service (…). Comparing five months of 2021 to 2022, there is a significant increase in complaints of over 300%, considering that in just 5 five months of 2022, it amounts to a sum of 66 complaints (sic),” writes in. document.
Among the most common complaints is failure to adhere to established delivery times for breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, something, dinner and snack. Other press headlines addressed this issue that did not leave the hospital looking good. EL COLOMBIANO has already published on January 19 of this year the complaints of the patients about the food. Among the complaints are, for example, when patients received toast for dessert.
Among the complaints that were tabled, and which several workers confirmed to this media outlet, were food served in styrofoam plates that melted due to the heat of the food and delays in service distribution. They say that sometimes lunch arrives after 2:00 in the afternoon when it should be before 12:30 or 1:00 at the latest, and that there are dinners that arrive after 7:00 at night, schedules that do not correspond to ideal diets for hospitalized people.
In the same way, problems are pointed out in the diet prescribed by the doctors for the patients, gaps in the collection of dishes from the rooms, “insufficient water jugs for oncology patients”, “lack of portions of butter in the diet and other foods”, among the other.