The nation’s Health Minister the Hon. Molwyn Joseph says that his aim is to reduce the heavy traffic at the country’s lone public hospital, the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre, with the establishment of 6 Polyclinics strategically placed around the island.
Minister Joseph, in an interview this morning said his vision would ultimately improve the health care services offered in the country.
“What you’re likely to see in Antigua and Barbuda is a more expansive service being provided by the clinic and we also will be establishing about 6 polyclinics in the country, strategically placed. The objective is to try to capture the needs at the community level before it is necessary for persons who need health care services to go to Mount St. John’s.
“We believe we can reduce significantly the need for seeking services at the Mount St. John’s if we strengthen services at the primary health care level in the communities.”
The health minister further elaborated on the how the strategic positioning of the clinics will assist in reducing the pressure at the hospital. He said the clinics will act as a mini hospital, offering a higher level of health care than regular clinics.
Meantime, Minister Joseph disclosed that the lack of trained technicians at the hospital is one of the major setbacks at the health care facility.
He said it is an issue that is yet to be addressed.
“As it is right now we have some of the most sophisticated equipment available for medical care anywhere in the world. One of the challenges we have at the Mount. St. John right now is to have the fully trained personnel and I must say frankly, there is where we have our greatest challenge now.”
Minister Joseph noted that the ministry is in the process of employing top Bio-medical engineers to run the state of the art machines at the hospital in order to reach the goal of offering health care at the same standard as other first world countries.
“We have to get away from the notion in Antigua and Barbuda that because you have some technical skills that is enough for you to function at the high technical level…we are in the process of recruiting some top bio-medical engineers in Antigua and Barbuda.
“We cannot afford to be heading in the direction that I was speaking bout without having the highly trained persons here so we’re fixing that,” he said.
The Government is set to receive the assistance of the People’s Republic of China to see the completion of the project.