Audits of federation’s state-run medical institutions in progress, says Phipps

Minister of State within the Ministry of Health, Senator Wendy Phipps, said the audit involves all operational aspects of the health institutions. The audit is examining areas such as the operating theatre, laboratories, medical and other supplies, back office operations and accident and emergencies.

She revealed also that a similar exercise is being undertaken for the Pogson Hospital in Sandy Point and the Mary Charles Hospital in Molineux. At a later date, Minister of State Phipps indicated that the country’s health centers will be examined. The Nevis Island Administration is conducting audits on their institutions.

According to Phipps, the audits will determine where deficiencies exist and the best ways to tackle the shortcomings of the institution. She disclosed, also, that the Medical Association had requested to be a part of the auditing process and their input is expected shortly.

“We are presently awaiting a report from the Medical Association. That report should have been turned into us by the 30th April, but through their president, Dr. Davine Wilkin, they have requested another thirty days, which will expire at the end of May,” Phipps said.

It is understood that the association divided their review work into eight sub-committees looking at various operations of the hospital, looking at both negative and positive characteristics of the hospital’s operations.

Meanwhile, Phipps said the Ministry had received much assistance from persons in the Kittitian and Nevisian diaspora, from citizens whose backgrounds are in the medical field.

“They are people who have come forwards with a willingness and an interest in serving their own country, in looking at ways in which they can improve the medical service in St. Kitts and Nevis, not limited to what goes on in the hospital itself, but also in terms of specific areas, in terms of eye care, in terms of issues such as orthopedics and so forth,” Phipps explained.

The comprehensive review of the hospitals in the federation is responding to pre-election campaign issues raised by members of the Team Unity political alliance, in which complaints of inadequate supplies of medicines and shortages of some material, along with poor quality service, were leveled at the previous Labour Party administration.

In a recent press conference of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, former prime minister, Dr. Denzil Douglas, and former minister for health, Marcella Liburd, denied that resources were not forthcoming, and pointed to developments taking place at the hospital, such as the planned introduction of the medical smart card and the implementation of security measures.

In other health matters, Phipps said by way of a brief update that research is still ongoing with regards to the comprehensive national health insurance scheme that Team Unity had also promised during its pre-election campaign.

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