July 16, 2019
Implement the MMDC model at the MCMH

Congratulations are in order for the policy makers, medical, technical and administrative staff of the Modern Medical and Diagnostic Centre (MMDC) at Georgetown on the attainment of the first anniversary of the institution.

The reviews are in, and they are unanimous; the quality of service rendered by this diagnostic and treatment centre is unequalled in this country and Vincentians and others have been travelling from as far as Union Island and Chateaubelair to access the services there.

It has been reported that over the last 12 months, over 10,000 patients have been seen and 500 surgeries performed along with specialist services like haemodialysis and chemotherapy which among our public medical institutions, can only be accessed there. We are told that the prices of services at the MMDC are the same as at the other public facilities in the country, but still, many bypass our main health facility, the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) in favour of the MMDC.

Why is this so? Some say the availability of walk-in, same day diagnostic services like laboratory tests, x-rays and ultrasounds contribute to client satisfaction. But the cleanliness of the facility, the professionalism and caring attitude of the staff are also frequently mentioned.

So how does one reconcile the rave reviews of the MMDC with the frequent complaints, horror stories even, from some users of the MCMH? The very qualities that are praised at the Georgetown facility are those that are said to be in scarce supply in Kingstown.

Aren’t both institutions part of the same administrative structure? Aren’t they both staffed largely by Vincentian professionals? Don’t the supplies and medication needed to provide care come from the same source? What could be the difference?

Determining that difference cannot be rocket science. The MMDC is proof that the delivery of a good quality of public health care at affordable prices is not beyond the Government and people of St Vincent and the Grenadines. We need therefore to do two things — keep the standard at the MMDC high, and then implement, without delay, that model at all our health facilities, particularly the MCMH.