It is good to talk when you have no personal contact or connection to the Healthcare industry. If you only rely on what others reported then there is a problem.
All over the world and in major cities there is a lack of items in the hospital. We read of the dire situation in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados. Two of the regional hospitals that St. Vincent and the Grenadines depended on for many years. Today those countries are dependent on SVG to supply nurses for their institution.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines for as far back forty (40) years (with my memory) has been lacking basic supplies. Under every administration, the problems occur. However, in this more modern times that problems should be a thing of the past. St. Vincent and the Grenadines have more hospitals than Barbados and Trinidad who have bigger budgets and are facing even worst than SVG. In bigger metropolitan cities like New York hospitals are closing because of the rising cost of healthcare. So St. Vincent and the Grenadines is still trying to cope with the current situation.
I do not want to condemn or criticize anyone, but I will try to offer some solutions. Some people are claiming the Minister of Health is too young and he is not an elected member of Parliament. That is utter nonsense, to begin with finding solutions. The Government must put policies in place to keep a constant flow of money into the health sector. The holder of that responsibility must be accountable to the Auditor General and the Minister of Health and to a greater extent the general public.
- Implement a low-cost health insurance where every employee pays a minimum of 1.5% of their salary into this fund. A copay for a doctors visit and for any procedure. This must be written in “Stone” as part of the guidelines. (Like Medicare in the US)
- Put policies in place for the proper purchase and distribution of supplies to the various facilities while eliminating waste.
- One operating room for use by private doctors who will pay up front for the use of the OR and suite for aftercare. (There are people who are willing to pay only if the doctor treating them have the use of the facility) There are lots of money in St. Vincent to help build up the finances of the Healthcare industry. Because that service is not available private patients go to another country for the same service which can be done in SVG if policies are put in place.
- Stamp out theft, corruption and remove political interference for this crucial industry.
- Stabilize the industry and upgrade Bequia and Union Island as health tourism centers.
- Establish with the assistance of the investors in Canouan a modern Polyclinic that will serve the needs of the residents and the visitors. At least be in a position to stabilize the patient if they have to be airlifted for further treatment.
- Build a modern 5o beds nursing home to accommodate relatives and family of tourist who will love to vacation for long periods. They will be at ease knowing that their loved ones are near to their sides and don’t have to worry.
- Employ doctors with specialties to take care of the rising needs of diagnosis.
- All teachers, police officers and senior civil servants must be trained in CPR.
- ADE should be available in certain buildings in the event someone is in cardiac arrest. (Set up until the professionals arrives).
- The establishment of CODES in the Hospitals Set up teams viz… for STROKE, a RAPID RESPONSE TEAM to be based in the Hospital.
- All healthcare worker must be trained in fire safety
- Ongoing education for all healthcare personnel
- Annual review and recertification of CPR, BLS, ALS
- Phase out paper charting to an electronic system
The Ministry of Health has been doing a great job with the limited budget and we should congratulate them for every single effort. Because of the great political divide in our country, the younger people are emulating the elders and following down the political pathway. This is regrettable and I hope that the country will come to its senses and make the necessary changes.
Minister Luke Brown is doing a great job and you need to open dialogue with citizens in the diaspora. There are many retired nurses and healthcare professionals that can assist SVG in achieving its goals, but you have to step across the divide and tap into the vast reservoir of knowledge that will benefit the country in the future. I can assure you that there are many citizens form SVG living abroad that will be happy to return, if, given the opportunity. Think about it and act before it is too late.