The management and delivery of Hospital and Community Health Services are about to undergo changes to address the “historic difficulties” with Grenada’s health institutions, according to Hon Delma Thomas.
“The truth is COVID-19 (has) given us a unique opportunity in terms of dealing with, understanding and appreciating that we have to put more of our time, our effort and resources into health care.”
The Minister noted some alarming developments emerging from the coronavirus pandemic relating to “life style diseases like diabetes and hypertension.”
“After the lockdown we have seen scores of persons falling sick with stroke and other complications of those lifestyle diseases and, so, education must be an integral part of what we do at the level of the community,” she said.
Speaking at Tuesday’s post Cabinet press briefing, Minister of Social Development, Housing and Community Empowerment Thomas, who recently had Hospital and Community Services added to her portfolio, described the difficulties as “cross-generational and multi-dimensional” and intimated the next budgetary cycle will support impending changes to services, as well as equipment needs.
The Minister identified the “fundamental areas in need of urgent attention” as “general management, human resource management, management of other resources, social and community consciousness and commitment, and personal attitudes towards the issue of care.”
Meetings are ongoing with health care workers and other public officers. Acting Permanent Secretary responsible for Hospital and Community Health Services Hanna Julien St Paul said areas identified for change include the surgical department, oncology, diagnostic services and electronic medical records. Changes will encompass the decentralisation of services and the reconstruction of primary health care, as well as “regularisation of staff,” she said.
Dr Jose Tristin, a pediatric surgeon/oncologist who previously worked in Grenada, has been hired.
Closed borders within the region due to COVID-19 “have taught us that we need these specialises services within our country,” according to the Acting Permanent Secretary.
Introducing a team approach to surgeries from November 02 is expected to reduce the wait period for patients in need of surgery, as there will be three surgical teams available at the General Hospital, she added.