The Ministry of Health and Wellness has given the assurance that all visiting medical staff participating in a free medical mission here will be vetted as per legal requirements by the respective Medical and Dental, Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Health Councils.
In a statement Thursday, the ministry said practitioners who satisfy the requirements for licensing and registration will be authorized to practice.
The ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, is coordinating the voluntary medical mission by the United States Naval Ship (USNS) Comfort, due to be in Saint Lucia from September 23 to October 2, 2019.
The ship will be berthed at Port Castries and two ‘walk in’ clinics will be set up at the OKEU hospital and one other site, to provide general clinical services.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness says all services will be provided free of charge and are available for all who would need care.
It disclosed that there is no pre-registration or appointment necessary for the clinics.
“Persons can simply walk in and request medical care,” according to the ministry statement.
It noted that under the national coordination of the Department of External Affairs, an initial coordinating meeting was held on July 18, 2019 with the Ministry of Health, representatives of the USNS delegation and key Ministries including Ministry of Finance, Agriculture, Home Affairs, Immigration, Saint Lucia Fire Service, OECS Commission and office of the Prime Minister.
“All parties are working together to facilitate a safe and organised voluntary health mission,” the statement observed.
The statement said a list of all medication and medical supplies to be used during the mission has been requested and is currently being vetted by the Drug Inspector, in keeping with the laws of Saint Lucia.
“As we have done in the past with other visiting health missions, our local health teams will be working alongside the visiting volunteers. A register of patients seen will be kept and all cases will be referred to local health professionals as necessary, for follow up to ensure continuity of care. Patients seeking surgical care should be accompanied by a family member or friend before care is granted,” it noted.