BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, April 19, 2023 (SKNIS) – The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis continues to outfit the Joseph N. France General Hospital with up-to-date equipment needed to carry out life-saving procedures which were allowed to fall into disrepair under the former administration.
While updating the nation on several matters of national importance during a special interview with the media on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, Prime Minister and Minister of Health, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew said his administration inherited a health system where much of the machinery was very old and in serious need of replacement.
“It’s as if the equipment were totally abandoned. We have a problem with the anesthesiology equipment in the theatre; we have a problem with the cabinet that mixes the chemotherapeutic drug; we have problems with making sure the blood bank can take blood at almost any time. In every aspect of the hospital, there is a problem that was left to be dealt with…but we have made the decision that the hospital will be an accredited hospital and you will see significant improvements over time,” Prime Minister Dr. Drew said.
The Prime Minister also spoke of the acquisition of a state-of-the-art microscope for the Ophthalmic Unit at the hospital that is essential for conducting eye surgeries.
“We are going to resume very shortly eye surgeries. As you know, with the previous administration, the machines had broken down; they had not purchased the machines. We have purchased the machines for eye surgery, and we are supposed to restart [surgeries] in the next couple of weeks. We had bought the major machine which cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars. We have now bought the other smaller pieces which were supposed to have arrived today, plus the type of medication to be used, and the main Ophthalmologist should be back to work today so in quick order we should be back to operating at the hospital,” said Dr. Drew.
The Director of Health Institutions stated recently that eye surgeries were ceased at the hospital since July 2022.
The Health Minister said his Government was also successful in securing new dialysis machines for the hospital “because as you know when we got there we thought that it wasn’t enough. As a medical doctor, I knew that and so we have procured them.”
In addition, Dr. Drew said four specialists are being brought in that will enhance the delivery of healthcare services in St. Kitts and Nevis. The specialists coming in will assist in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the emergency room, neurology and in biotechnology.