ARIZONA – The shortage of doctors in hospitals throughout the country is a continuous problem, but in rural hospitals the situation becomes more serious, since for them it is a daily struggle to find the specialized medical attention that patients require.
With regard to the situation in Arizona, in hospitals in the south of the state there are beds available to care for patients, however, there are not enough specialized medical personnel to care for them.
This has caused patients in these clinics to be left exclusively with the basic care of the available staff, who work to keep them stable while they wait for an opportunity to present themselves to transfer them to a higher-level hospital.
Benson Hospital Emergency Department Manager and Trauma Director Gary Kartchner said “we have limited resources in what we can do to care for patients”.
He explained that Benson Hospital is called a Critical Access Hospital, which means that it cannot have more than 25 beds for inpatients and these people cannot exceed a duration greater than 96 hours of stay.
Before the pandemic, “at this time of year we would never have a problem transferring a patient to another hospital in Tucson”, but now they must wait 15 to 72 hours.
That is, they must wait up to three days while doctors find a space available in a medical center that has the specialized personnel or equipment they require to improve their health.
“We are not helping that patient and there is a real possibility that his condition will deteriorate if he remains here”, he said.
These hospitals are basic health units, that is, they lack spaces for intensive care or what is necessary to care for patients in critical condition, such as those in specialized health centers.
The Executive Director of the Benson Hospital, Julia Strange, said that there is the commitment of the medical staff of this and other similar hospitals, but the support of places with technology and specialists is necessary, since they can give greater attention and better results to the patients.
Kartchner said that the commitment of this and other hospitals is to provide medical, professional and responsible care so that the patient has a better quality of life during the time they are hospitalized and they will always work so that their health care is the most important thing.