The recent upsurge in violent crime and the frequency of road accidents are taking a toll on this country’s health services, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Felix St Hill, has disclosed.
St Hill told St Lucia Times that pressure is being brought to bear on the health facilities in the country.
He explained that bed space at Victoria Hospital is limited.
“The infrastructure, apart from being old and outdated, is also limited in terms of the building, the medical equipment and further even the human resources, by way of doctors and nurses, are also limited,” the PS stated.
He told St Lucia Times that the country does not have unlimited finances to employ the doctors and nurses it would like to have.
He appealed to members of the public who are a little careless in their driving, especially at Christmas time when some let down their guard, and persons who cannot resolve conflicts peacefully, to be on their guard.
In respect of persons who are at loggerheads, St Hill urged them to settle their differences amicably to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on health facilities.
He revealed that the health sector has responded to the challenge of the increased pressure by employing nurses on sessions.
“So sometimes in order to fill the little gap we employ nurses on sessions – even doctors on sessions; on short term contracts, just to deal with that increasing pressure on the facilities,” the PS told St Lucia Times.
He said that for some time now the ministry has been dealing with the issue of the commissioning of the Owen King EU Hospital and transitioning from Victoria Hospital.
“I must say that commissioning has been happening gradually,” St Hill explained.
“So even more recently in addition to the services we are currently undertaking at the OKEUH, we are now almost in completion stage of relocating the lab and the morgue and the radiology unit and then the final transitioning will really take place with the in-patient services,” he asserted.
“We see within the next few weeks we would actually be at least commencing activities to transition the in-patient services,” he declared.