Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Health Minister says A&E to reopen in June

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Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic announced on Sunday that the upgraded Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) will be opening in another three weeks.

Speaking at the Barbados Labour Party’s Stan’ Home Political Mass Rally held virtually for the most part, he said that “the weekend of June 12” was the date set for the full reopening to the public, while he noted that construction had ended, and it was in the snagging stages now.

“This is very important,” he said to applause from people at The Lester Vaughan School from where the rally was streamed “live”.

“What is it that you can expect to see in that facility? First of all, it is going to be double in size and the sitting area – indoors and outdoors – will be three times as much as we have right now at the A&E. There will be a new screening and triage zone that will facilitate more clients.

“We’re moving from two STAT rooms to six… We’re moving from having one ambulance being able to be accommodated at the A&E to four ambulances at the same time. There will be a new paediatric emergency room and we’re moving from two to four state of the art self-contained isolation rooms. This is what the Barbados Labour Party Government has been able to achieve.”

The Minister said, however, the refurbishment of the infrastructure alone would not help achieve theadministration’s goals and targets and as such “end of life” equipment had been replaced in addition to some which was lacking across the system.

He reported new point-of-care machines plus new computers, related equipment and services were installed across all institutions to facilitate what he called the “digital transformation of our healthcare system as promised” in the party’s manifesto.

Bostic said that the QEH was provided with $5 million to outfit the Harrison Point Facility with equipment which would be available to the hospital’s administration at the end of the coronavirus pandemic.

He also said that for the first time in 12 years “major investment in equipment up to the tune of $15 million had been granted” to the primary care institution to purchase items.

He said these included “two oxygen plants, which will save $1 million in the purchase of oxygen bottles; a new distilled water plant, which will save $350 000 annually in the purchase of distilled water; and four new autoclaves and other equipment, completely upgrading the central sterilisation”.

Among the new equipment purchases were also dialysis machines, as well as neurosurgical, and ear, nose and throat microscopes to assist in surgical procedures.

Bostic said people had to be sent for treatment overseas in recent months because of “faulty equipment”.

The Minister of Health also reported on some of the other achievements of the ministry over the past year, some of which he spoke about during the Estimates debates in March.

These included the improved pass rates for nurses in the regional nursing exam, the re-introduction of a stipend for nursing students, physical improvements to the district hospitals and a few polyclinics, the pending roll-out of a National Cancer Plan and the National Nutrition Policy for Education.

“Our focus remains the significant reduction of the burden of chronic NCDS on our population and on our health care services and the economy,” Bostic said.

“Community healthcare is the foundation of our plans and policies to win the battle against NCDs. In order to provide this, we have had to pay great attention to the human resource deficiencies in the system.

“…The Barbados Labour Party always put people at the centre of our policies and I’m happy to report today that over 1,000 public healthcare workers across categories were appointed. And those appointments did not come on the eve of an election.”

(GBM)

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