VIOLENCE STRETCHING RESOURCES OF HEALTH AUTHORITY

anguillian
By anguillian February 17, 2012 09:44

VIOLENCE STRETCHING RESOURCES OF HEALTH AUTHORITY

 

Chief Executive Officer, Ralph Hodge

Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Health Authority of Anguilla has sounded a note of caution which he said the Government and the people of the island should take into account.

 

“Last year when we had a significant spate of violent acts, it actually stretched the resources of the Health Authority,” he stated on Tuesday in an interview on the impact that crime is having on the society and in particular the medical response. “InAnguillathere is always talk that number of medical practitioners we haveis too large, but I want to assure the public that in incidents like these, our resources are stretched exceedingly thin.

 

“There are situations where doctors do not get a good night rest. The Anesthesiologist has to be out all night. Over the last weekend, we have been stretched to the limit. It is not aggravation for the families of the victims. It is actually for our resources at the Health Authority. That’s why I am a firm believer that Government has to do something, in particular, special when it is thinking how it handles health. If we don’t have health, we can’t have education. If we don’thave health and education, we can’t have a decent workforce; and if we don’t have a decent workforce, we can’t have a proper economy. I think we have reached to the point where people have to be patient with the service of the Health Authority. I can assure you that, despite everything you hear on the street about the Health Authority, our medical practitioners do a wonderful job in serving theAnguillapublic which at times can be exceeding difficult.”

 

Mr. Hodge, who is also Chief Financial Officer with the Health Authority, was answering questions mainlyin connection with violence against a number of persons. Separate shooting incidents, one last year, and the most recent occurring on Saturday, February 11, have in particular left two young men critically wounded. The first, Deion Richardson, had to be sent toMiamifor specialist treatment; and the second, Randy Hodge, was dispatched this week toPanamawith bullets still lodged in his body. They had to be sent abroad as the Health Authority lacked the necessary resources.

 

“It is going to take this island a very long time to get such resources,” Mr. Hodge commented. “What we normally do is to have the patient properly stabilised to move on to somewhere else. But certainly at our 24-hour hospital facility, there is quite a bit we need that I am certain would help our medical practitioners do an even better job. It is time that the general public and Government be considerate about that because our equipment needs are tremendous. We are in the business of saving lives, and keeping people well, and one would like to see a bit more attention being paid to the equipment requirements at the hospital. We have a couple cases which should make us rethink our position. Lives are being technically cut short, to some extent, and we can only do the minimum that is allowable with the resources we have.”

The Acting Health Authority CEOsaid this week was the first time that the hospital had access toPanamafor specialist treatment of a patient. “We now have a relationship withPanamawhich has been recently worked out between the Ministry, the Health Authority and the hospital inPanama. The medical services there are extremely good and, surprisingly, at a lower rate in terms of financing that we would even find next door inPuerto Rico.

 

“The Minister [Edison Baird] and the Permanent Secretary [Dr. Bonnie Richardson-Lake] made a trip toPanama[to work out the arrangement], and we are thinking about follow-up trips to concretise the relationship which we in the Health Authority and the Ministry of Health will utilise.” Mr. Hodge said it was a very recent arrangement. “We have done all the groundwork with the Welfare Department, Ministry of Health and our personnel at thePrincessAlexandraHospital, andPanamais certainly an option. It is an option just likePuerto Rico. You can get toPanamaalmost as easily as you can get to Puerto Rico – with a two-hour flight out of St. Maarten – or you can go toSanto Domingothen across toPanama.”

Mr. Hodge added that the arrangements withBarbados, where patients have been referred to in the past for further treatment, were still in effect at theQueenElizabethHospital.

 

anguillian
By anguillian February 17, 2012 09:44

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