“The Tobago healthcare system is about to get a huge boost for dialysis treatment, ultrasound and MRI services, with new and upgraded equipment and shorter waiting times.”
The announcement came from Secretary for Health, Wellness and Family Development Councillor Tracy Davidson-Celestine, as she wrapped up her contribution at the 41st Plenary Sitting Tobago House of Assembly 2017 – 2021 Session.
“We are well intent on ensuring that we can treat almost immediately with a refurbished MRI imaging machine,” the Secretary said.
“We are focussed on purchasing a 3D ultrasound machine … to bring the Hospital service to a 2020 standard of care to Tobago. This will ensure we provide ultrasound services of acertain quality to our clients,” she added.
Also included on the list of upgrades for the Scarborough General Hospital was the overhaul of the air-conditioning system with a proposed $15 million budgeted for the project. “We are working assiduously to ensure the air conditioning units are installed long before the end of this fiscal period and very early next year.” Davidson-Celestine assured.
The Tobago healthcare system sees more than 30,000 patient visits annually through its 17 heath centres and the Scarborough General Hospital.
The completion of the Roxborough Hospital by the end of December 2020, is also expected to bring some much needed relief for those in need of the haemodialysis machines.
With this new hospital, the Secretary pointed out: “We will buy an additional four chairs to meet any anticipated increase in demand.”
At present, 77 persons are receiving dialysis care in Tobago; 60 persons are receiving haemodialysis at the Scarborough Health Centre and “we still have the capacity for eight more persons. Additionally, there are 17 persons receiving peritoneal dialysis and those persons are treated at home,” Davidson-Celestine emphasised.
The Health Secretary indicated that a Bicarb mixing and distribution system for the dialysis machine, to support the expansion of the haemodialysis therapy is also on the cards.
Davidson-Celestine, justified this decision stating: “Nursing staff will no longer have to transfer the bicarbs to the machine… freeing up the nursing staff…to improve patient care.”
The Secretary gave her commitment to secure “the right equipment to facilitate the best type of services for our clients.”