BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, March 31, 2023 (SKNIS) – The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis continues to roll out parts of its comprehensive plan that will transform and improve the delivery of healthcare services across the Federation.
At his press conference on Thursday, March 30, Prime Minister and Minister of Health, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew reported on several measures introduced to date and others that are currently being implemented. This includes the Government’s plan to bring in at least four additional specialist doctors to augment the services at the Joseph N. France General Hospital.
“We have to improve the delivery of healthcare here in St. Kitts and Nevis. I have said that we will have an accredited hospital. That is how we are going to deal with the many issues at the hospital or in the Ministry of Health that have been there for a long time. It will take work and dedication because it is challenging but it is very achievable. And so, having specialists there who will deliver the type of care that is well required here so that our people would not have to travel as much as they do presently,” said Prime Minister Dr. Drew.
The Prime Minister said there are also plans to introduce specialist clinics at the general hospital. A specialist clinic is a unit within a hospital that provides planned, non-admitted patient services.
Additionally, Prime Minister Drew said the Ministry of Health is presently exploring the idea of extending the opening hours of health centers across the island to at least 7:00 pm “so that when people come from work, they don’t have to access the hospital to check their blood pressure or their blood sugar and that they have more time to properly get checked.”
Dr. Drew then reminded the nation that the Ministry of Health has increased the number of doctors stationed at the Pogson Medical Center in Sandy Point and noted that the same will be done at the Mary Charles Hospital in Molineux.
He added, “As an update, I want to inform our people that at Mary Charles we had a pharmacist who would have retired, and we are now in the process of recruiting more pharmacists so that we could even extend the hours at the Mary Charles Pharmacy. It is a bit of inconvenience at this time, but we have applications in [for persons] to be pharmacists who we are going to place over there and so I ask the public for patience at this time.”
Moreover, the Health Minister indicated that a training programme for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) is expected to commence soon. He said, “Our objective is to convert that service into a professional service. It has a good base at this time, but there is always room for improvement and so we want to take them up to the paramedic level, and so we are in serious discussions about that type of training. It is an expensive undertaking, but it is totally necessary.”
Earlier this week, the Honourable Prime Minister visited the Ophthalmic Unit at the JNF General Hospital where a new state-of-the-art Leica M690 Surgical Operating Microscope System is now installed to offer advanced surgical procedures for patients.
All of the measures alluded to by Prime Minister Dr. Drew at his press conference on Thursday are in addition to the Government’s intention to construct a new climate-smart hospital here in St. Kitts and Nevis in the near future.