The New Democratic Party (NDP) is deeply concerned with the state of health care in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In our manifesto of the 2015 general elections, we outlined a holistic development plan for rescuing the health sector. It included the construction of a modern state of the art hospital and an air ambulance service that would have served the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In 2020, the development plan is still applicable.
During the campaign of the 2015 general elections, the idea of the helicopter service and the design of our state-of-the-art hospital were severely criticized by the Unity Labour Party (ULP). They responded by saying that they would have built a new hospital. Almost five years after, the ULP regime has failed to construct the hospital they promised. With general elections approaching, the ULP has begun its wild promises again. But Vincentians will not be fooled into believing what the ULP has begun to promise. It will only take the NDP to construct a modern state of the art hospital and develop the health sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The New Democratic Party (NDP) will take a three-pronged approach to remedy the situation. First, an effective management system will be implemented, with strict accountability from all staff at all facilities. Secondly, a national health insurance system will be established. Thirdly, a new state of the art hospital will be built and operated in an appropriate part of the country and district hospitals will be upgraded, to serve the needs of locals and visitors alike in the most efficient manner.
The management of health care nationwide will be administered by a state corporation with suitably qualified professional staff at the board and management levels. And the assistance of regional and international agencies will be sought to aid the implementation and allow for a phased change over. Among the sub committees of the Board will be: finance, customer care, innovations and improvements, public relations and staffing.
The procurement and distribution of all medication and medical supplies shall be administered by the Corporation. There will be adequate defined mechanisms for public queries, complaints and feedback links will be established to allow for regional institutions to offer tertiary health care to citizens in need. The conditions under which these services will be accessible will be stated publicly and there will be no discrimination in their application. And partnerships with international health institutions and teaching institutions will be explored, and, where appropriate, will be developed.
Further, a National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) will be introduced after discussions to provide coverage of basic health care for the insured and their dependents. The service will be similar to our National Insurance System in that it will be mandatory. However, individuals may, if they so desire “top up” their coverage with private insurance to cover services not covered by the national system, or to cover private treatment. And private medical practitioners will be able to use the medical facilities in an open and transparent manner with appropriate safeguards.
And, we will construct a new state of the art hospital with helipad. The Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) is outdated and is located in an inappropriate location with no scope for expansion, it must be replaced. A convenient and central site has already been identified for the construction of a new, modern hospital to replace MCMH. Preliminary designs are in hand and are ready to be implemented.
Some of the medical departments and wards that will comprise our new health facility are, Emergency: it includes general surgery unit, orthopedics unit, children surgery, ophthalmic surgery, and ENT surgery. Surgical Ward (Male and Female), will have Operating Room, Patient Room, ICU, Nurses’ Station, Waiting Room, Medical Storage, Consultation Room, and Doctors Lounge. Medical Ward (Male and Female) will Have Operating Room, Patient Room, ICU, Nurses’ Station, Waiting Room, Medical Storage, Consultation Room, and Doctors Lounge.
Maternity Ward will have Operating Room, Patient Room, ICU, Nurses’ Station, Waiting Room, Medical Storage, Consultation Room, and Doctors Lounge. Children’s Ward will have Operating Room, Patient Room, ICU, Nurse Station, Waiting Room, Medical Storage, Consultation Room, and Doctors Lounge.
Specialist Diagnostic Department: This unit includes specialties of cardiology, dermatology, diabetics, endocrine glands, digestive system, internal diseases, kidney and urology unit, neurology, lung diseases, and rheumatic diseases. X-Ray Room, MRI Room, Hyperbaric Chamber Room, Lab.
Nursing Department: Nursing Division provides nursing to patients at all general and specialized clinics in addition to specialized care services to inpatients at all units.
Pharmacy and Gift Shop: This unit is responsible for providing patients with medicines prescribed by specialist physicians and provision of services corresponding to applicable drug precautions and professional regulations. Also, this unit provides physicians and pharmacists with the most up-to-date medical literatures and printings dealing with medicine treatment in addition to organizing periodical tests quarterly to pharmacists.
Patients Services: Department of patients services provides group of activities and interests related directly to welfare and service of patients and facilitating procedures and requirements of their referral to the hospital, and receiving the required treatment, and guiding and helping them in all that may achieve the maximum degree of benefiting from protective and remedial services provided by the hospital. Such tasks are provided by the following units:
Patient Relations Dept. This unit is involved in fulfilling needs of patients and outpatients around the clock including solving problems of inpatients and outpatients. And, Admission Dept: This unit coordinates, prepares, and arranges reservations and admissions to patients inside various medical divisions as per classification of cases (emergency, urgent, and normal), which will achieve the ideal and maximum use of clinical capacity.
The NDP is committed to construct a state-of-the-art hospital and implement the programmes and policies that will rescue the health sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.