PM Douglas Demands Quality Healthcare
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
January 27, 2009 (CUOPM)
St. Kitts and Nevis is very strong in the delivery of healthcare to its citizens and government has taken steps to provide MRI services and establish a cardiac clinic.
Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas during his weekly “Ask the Prime Minister” radio programme noted that over the past several years the main J. N. France General Hospital in Basseterre has been rebuilt, expanded, and dramatically upgraded.
“In addition to this, we have also built, expanded and improved health centers throughout the federation so as to save those who live in the countryside the stress, the time, and the expense of having to travel into town and back, just to receive health care,” said the Prime Minister.
He added that in addition to expanding the country’s health care infrastructure, his St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration has taken a serious look at the cluster needs throughout the country and have ensured that needed services are available.
“As a result, we now have dramatically expanded screening for prostate, breast and cervical cancer ““ not just in our hospitals, but at health centers throughout the federation as well,” said Dr. Douglas, who pointed out that four years ago, a dialysis unit was established at the Joseph N. France Hospital.
“We do have limited dialysis services as well in Nevis. We have been working with the Republic of China on Taiwan, and thanks to their generosity, to expand that service to ensure that even higher-level dialysis diagnostic and treatment services will now be available in the federation,” said Prime Minister Douglas, pointing out that since taking office his administration has also established an Intensive Care Unit, a professional Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Eye Care Clinic, and an Accident and Emergency Unit.
He noted that it was not so long ago, that Kittitians and Nevisians had to find both airfare and accommodations abroad whenever they needed a CAT scan.
“No more. The Ministry of Health stepped forward and partnered with the Pierrot Group out of Guadeloupe to make CT scans available right here on the island of St. Kitts ““ for anyone who needs these services. And, not willing to rest there, this year the government will be moving on to provide MRI services as well,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who pointed out that just a few weeks ago, Cabinet approved and Government signed the necessary agreement with a healthcare investor and developer to provide St. Kitts and Nevis with its first cardiac clinic in the Federation.
He pointed out that when he was a child, the state of health care in colonial St. Kitts and Nevis was not at all good.
“And that’s putting it mildly. Access to medical advice, access to medication, access to clinics and hospitals was available to very few people in this society. And the consequences were there for all to see: For far too many people, cuts, minor illnesses, and other day-to-day ailments simply had to go unattended. What should have been minor problems became far worse than they had to. And so, while training to be a doctor, I always told myself that if I ever attained a position of influence in this country, I would ensure that the people in St. Kitts and Nevis, would have the best health care possible, within the context our resources available to us,” said Dr. Douglas.
The Prime Minister said that in establishing these health care facilities, “we are not just focusing on the buildings and the medicines or the staff, we are also trying our best to be increasingly sensitive on a range of issues.”