Statement on Opening of the Modern Medical Complex
By Honourable R. T. Luke V. Browne Minister of Health
The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment is pleased to announce that it is making final preparations for the opening of the Modern Medical Complex (MMC) in Georgetown. This Complex was built and equipped at a cost of about $22 million and would be a significant addition to the stock of healthcare infrastructure in this country.
The project was financed principally by the NIS (which contributed roughly $11 million) and the Central Government. The Republic of Cuba donated human and technical resources for the construction phase of the project and also made material donations of medical equipment.
Additionally, Cuba will provide a number of healthcare specialists and other personnel to work alongside local professionals to start up operations at the MMC. The public might recall that the groundbreaking for this Complex was attended by the Cuban Foreign Minister.
It must also be said that the Republic of China on Taiwan has so far donated $1.5 million worth of medical equipment to the Complex. Several state agencies and partners have been involved with this project in one way of another from its inception.
Significantly, the Complex will be the first public facility to do hemodialysis in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This is no doubt good news for Vincentians with kidney or other problems who need this type of treatment, and who otherwise have a hard time affording it in the private sector.
The annual cost of hemodialysis to an individual varies between $30,000.00 and $72,000.00. In the years 2015 and 2016, a total of 53 persons died as a result of kidney disease. A person with kidney disease can live a relatively normal life if the appropriate treatment is available and affordable.
One of the government’s goals is to prevent avoidable deaths by improving the quality of healthcare in SVG. The Modern Medical Complex helps the state achieve this goal. Incidentally, there has already been a test case of dialysis at the Complex with good results.
In addition to dialysis, the MMC will provide services in the following specialist areas: Medical Laboratory, Radiology, Endoscopy, Ophthalmology, Nephrology, Urology, Surgery, General Medicine, Oncology (chemotherapy to begin with and radiation as an option for the future), Accident and Emergency, Intensive Care and Step Down Care (i.e. cases that do not require intensive care) and Diabetic Foot Ulcer Care.
The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) has a vision for the MMC to become the first Chronic Disease Prevention Centre in the Caribbean.
The functioning of the MMC will be integrated and synchronised with the functioning of the nearby SMART Hospital in Georgetown.
The opening of the Modern Medical Complex will be a significant breakthrough or a massive leap forward for SVG’s health and development. The official opening date for the Complex will be announced soon.