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What is the “24 Hour Polyclinic Service?”

The 24 Hour Polyclinic Service will extend the opening hours of the Polyclinic at the David Thompson Health and Social Services Complex, Glebe Land, St. John and the Winston Scott Polyclinic, Jemmotts Lane, St. Michael.  The aim is to improve the delivery of health care.

What services will be available during the 24 Hour service?

This new service will cater to clients who need primary and urgent care services, as outlined below.

Urgent Care:

  • Acute asthma management.
  • Treatment for trauma complaints: (minor wounds & simple fractures, lacerations, falls, foreign bodies and stings)
  • Treatment for non-trauma complaints: (acute infections, abdominal and back pain, headaches, weakness, numbness and vertigo)

If you do not have a medical emergency listed here will you be turned away? Is this the complete list?

The list is not exhaustive, but service will be based on a triage system where persons who are more seriously ill will be seen as a priority. However, the intent is for no one to be turned away but these persons may experience a longer waiting time.

Will I need a referral to the 24 Hour service?

Patients may access these services through self-referral or referral from other polyclinics. Most of these clients will continue to be managed within the polyclinics without having to be referred to the QEH.

Do I have to live in the polyclinic catchment area in order to access the 24 Hour service?

No, services provided at the two 24 hour polyclinics will be available to persons regardless of where they live in Barbados.

When should I go to the Accident & Emergency Department for emergency care?

There are some conditions which are life-threatening or need emergency care.  These will require medical care at the Accident & Emergency Department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.  Some examples of a medical emergency are:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Head injuries, with loss of consciousness
  • Severe fractures
  • Severe cuts
  • Vomiting blood
  • Eye injuries
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Severe burns
  • Sudden weakness on one side of the body 

Is there a 24 Hour asthma bay?

There is capacity for persons with asthma to be nebulized.

Are they able to intubate for extreme asthma cases at the polyclinic or is it just nebulizers?

If an asthmatic needs to be intubated, then that case is classified as an emergency that needs to be seen at the Accident and Emergency Department of the QEH.

Is the pharmacy going to be opened 24 hrs also?

No. There will not be 24 hour pharmacy services. Pharmacy services at the Winston Scott Polyclinic will be to from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. At the David Thompson Health and Social Services Complex, pharmacy services will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., from Monday to Friday.

Know the Different Levels of Care

Routine Care: When you are not ill, but need follow-up care for a chronic condition or to get an annual check-up.

Urgent Care: Illnesses and injuries that cannot wait for you to get a routine appointment with the doctor.  It is for those times when you need immediate walk-in care on a particular day, but your condition is not life-threatening.

Emergency Care: A sudden or unexpected condition or the worsening of a chronic condition that is threatening to limb, life or sight and that requires immediate medical treatment to relieve pain or suffering from symptoms.   The Emergency Ambulance Service (EAS) can be called by members of the public or by a representative of a medical facility.  Some members of the Emergency Ambulance Service Team are trained to initiate treatment at the scene before transporting the person for definitive care at the QEH.

Ministry of Health and Wellness

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