By anguillian January 29, 2018 10:31 Updated




A just-arrived brand new state-of-the-art CT-Scan Machine, purchased by the Anguilla Government at a cost of five hundred thousand US dollars, is being installed in a specially-prepared room at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. It is part of a comprehensive upgrading of the health facility where there is also a quantity of new equipment awaiting installation in additional children and adult patients’ wards and bathrooms now under construction.

The Anguillian was taken on what was called “an abbreviated tour” of the new areas and facilities of the hospital by an excited Minister of Health and Social Development, Mr. Evans McNiel Rogers. “One of the important things is that the installation of the new CT-Scan has begun,” the Minister said. The engineers from Bio-Medical International are engaged in the work and, later in the week, some representatives from General Electric (the manufacturer) will be in Anguilla to do their final checks and preparation, after it has been installed, to ensure that everything is up and ready.

The Minister continued: “It took some time coming. It was supposed to be shipped to Anguilla on September 1st, but God is in the midst of everything because we know the hurricane took place on September 6. Thank God it wasn’t shipped and I was made to understand that they were waiting some parts from Germany. As a matter of fact the roof over the CT-Scan area is now actually concrete. We expect to have the machine up and running this week but, of course, the next phase is the training component. Some representatives from General Electric will be here to train our local folks on site, and then there will be additional training in the United States for the operators and others. Once well-trained, our people will be able to utilise the full capabilities of this piece of equipment.

“CT-Scans are really becoming sort of routine pieces of equipment. It is just unfortunate that we did not have the type of equipment that we are installing now. There was a single slice CT-Scan machine that was donated several years ago, I think, by Haemas and Plablo Hospital in Puerto Rico. It was archaic, limited in terms of its capacity and so forth. As you can see, this piece of equipment is new and, in terms of its longevity, General Electric is known world-wide for quality products and what are called after sale services and so on. It will allow the medical staff to have another tool in terms of diagnosing certain disease conditions, and to use in cases of emergencies etc.

“We have been blessed to have a CT-Scan machine at Dr. Hughes’ Medical Centre although it is not at the capacity of this one. Over the years we have been using that. While it is available for use, when you look at a 24-hour facility (like the Princess Alexandra Hospital), having a CT-Scan is routine as far as I am concerned. It will allow patients, who come to the hospital, whether at 3 o’clock in the morning, to be able to do whatever test is ordered by the physician. I think our people will be elated to know that such tests can be done here. A number of Anguillians go to St. Maarten for scans, Puerto Rico and elsewhere so that will help to eliminate all of that travel, having the services in Anguilla at our own 24-hour facility.”

Asked how the machine was funded, Mr. Rogers replied. “I have to thank a lot people and organisations for their various contributions. Once it is installed and up and running, I intend to have a full press briefing and announcement with respect to that. I will be thanking the various contributors to this particular project, and to a number of other projects in terms of the improvement of the healthcare facilities and services in Anguilla in general. We also have a new neonatal intensive care unit, some bits and pieces of other equipment, and a lot other supplies to be thankful for.”

The Minister further said: “The price of the CT-Scan is just around five hundred thousand US dollars. Of course we have the UPS, which is also manufactured by General Electric, especially for the CT-Scan. That is another seventy thousand US dollars. The numbers in dollars might seem high…but at the end of the day, I think that life, and having the diagnostic equipment we need in Anguilla, is priceless.”

Mr. Rogers went on to talk about other projects at the hospital including a new generator, the special building for which has already been constructed; a planned oxygen production plant; a well to stem the high cost of water, and other facilities. He made the point that all the costly improvements at the Princess Alexandra Hospital had nothing to do with the proposed state-of-the-art health facility which is under active consideration, and on the drawing board. It is planned that the present upgraded hospital will eventually become an extension of the Miriam Gumbs Senior Citizen’s Home to take care of the increasing number of persons expected to be residents there in the coming years.

Health improvement in Anguilla is a pet project for Minister Rogers who, by training, is in fact a health professional. “Yes, it is”, he affirmed. “I have spent more than half of my life really in healthcare services. I spent the last decade and-a-half in politics, but my heart is in healthcare and the healthcare industry. I have worked at the old Cottage Hospital for a number of years. I have worked throughout the Caribbean and throughout the United States so I am very familiar in terms of what modern-day medicine and medical facilities should look like.”

Mr. Rogers added: “I will continue to press for these facilities and services until I have the last breath in my body to make sure – whether in or out of politics – that we have quality healthcare facilities and services available to the people of Anguilla.”

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Victor Banks was among other Government Ministers who toured the new areas and facilities of the hospital. Mr. Banks told The Anguillian:

“I think that it is obvious that the Minister and his team, in particular the Facilities Manager [Mr. Malcolm Webster] and all the staff at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, should be commended for their efforts during the storm and the aftermath. It looks as if the recovery effort is moving apace, and I am hopeful that we will continue to get the support from the community because, at this time, the community needs to support the Health Authority in achieving its objectives for the nation. We all get sick. We all need a facility that works and this is just the beginning.”

By anguillian January 29, 2018 10:31 Updated


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