Today’s Editorial October 05: Put patients’ care first

Kudos to the crew of the Cayman Airways flight that successfully delivered a baby girl into the world Tuesday.

But frankly, we don’t think they should have been put in that position.

That young mother should never have been allowed to board that plane to go to Jamaica.

Her water broke and she went to the Cayman Islands Hospital to seek help. That’s where she should have stayed.

Yes, women who are seven months pregnant are allowed to fly on airplanes with a note from a doctor.

But those notes are usually given to women who aren’t showing any signs of trouble.

This young woman was certainly showing signs of trouble.

We’re just thankful that mother and baby made it to Jamaica and are doing well.

But what would have happened if they didn’t?

What if the baby had been breach?

We appreciate the fact that Cayman Airways goes above and beyond when it comes to training flight crews to handle medical emergencies like the one Tuesday.

Fortunately for them it was a ‘natural’ birth and neither the baby nor the mother was suffering from any abnormal complications.

To say the young mother couldn’t be treated at the Government hospital because of insurance issues, as she claims, is ridiculous.

One would expect that a hospital would be concerned more about the health of patients than whether that patient could pay up.

Should the hospital be doing all it can to collect payments from patients? Of course it should.

The Health Services Authority was formed to remove it from general government red tape so it could be operated more like a business. It’s not a non-profit institution.

But while we expect HSA and the hospital to make money, we also expect the staff there to put care of patients first.

As fare as we’re aware the Hippocratic or Physician’s Oath still exists.

Part of that oath reads thusly: To practice and prescribe to the best of my ability for the good of my patients, and to try to avoid harming them.

We think the HSA can thank its lucky stars that no harm came to that young mother and her babe.

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