An increase in the number of healthcare workers at the public hospital and at the clinics across the island is being undertaken.
This week, again, the Cabinet reportedly held discussions about the time spent seeking attention at the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre. In some instances, patients have said, it can take up to 12 hours before one sees a doctor.
The Director of the hospital and the Chairperson of its Board reportedly told the Executive that the challenge of any emergency room is determined by the volume of patients seeking emergency care.
Reportedly, more than 40,000 patients visit the hospital on an annual basis, and earlier research revealed that most of those who visit the Emergency Room require “urgent care” and not “emergency care.” However, all who show up are treated.
Therefore, the hospital officials say, they are working to increase the number of doctors and nurses in the Emergency Room in order to reduce patients’ wait time.
There will also be an increase in the number of doctors at the clinics, since “urgent care” is dispensed at these healthcare facilities, as well.
According to this week’s Cabinet Notes, the clinics fall under the control of the Chief Medical Officer; therefore, increases in the number of personnel, as well as scheduling changes, are not the remit of the hospital Director.
The proposed changes to the functioning of the clinics will be addressed shortly, the Notes say.
Meanwhile, construction of the new Renal and Dialysis Centre at the old Edward Ward on the Holberton Hospital compound is reportedly underway and within prospective deadlines.
Upon completion, the old unit at the hospital will be converted into a Cardiology and Heart Health Unit, in collaboration with a world-renowned medical centre from the United States.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Health will begin to screen residents for rheumatic fever.
Minister of Health Sir Molwyn Joseph says that an epidemiological unit is to be built by the Ministry of Works, and this will improve upon the one which now exists.