July 5, 2013
‘Mayreau nurse’s quarters must be repaired before nurse is deployed’

Before a resident nurse can be deployed to Mayreau, urgent repairs have to be done to the nurse’s quarters there, and it has not yet been determined when those repairs will be done.{{more}}

Minister of Health Clayton Burgin told Parliament on Tuesday that refurbishment of the building housing the nurse’s quarters and clinic on Mayreau is estimated at EC$130,000.

He, however, disclosed that because the repairs to the building had not been included in the 2013 budgetary estimates, officials in his Ministry are now working on having resources allocated and the documentation prepared for the project to go out to tender.

The Minister said once this process has been completed, the tendering process should last about six weeks, followed by the reconstruction work, which was anticipated to take an additional two months.

Burgin gave the update on the Mayreau clinic in response to a question from Member of Parliament (MP) for the Southern Grenadines Terrence Ollivierre, which was read by MP Daniel Cummings in Ollivierre’s absence.

In a story which appeared in SEARCHLIGHT in May, residents of the 1.5 square mile island complained about the hardship they have had to endure since the departure of the resident nurse in January, 2013, to pursue studies.

Burgin said that health care is a fundamental right of every citizen and that it is the obligation of government to provide the relevant health care.

He explained that the

resident nurse had applied for and was granted study leave to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.

“The necessary arrangements have been concluded to have another registered nurse report for duty to provide health care to the people of Mayreau,” Burgin said.

However, an assessment of the nurse’s quarters was made and it was determined that there was need for some urgent repairs, the Minister explained.

He said when officials from the Buildings, Roads and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) visited the site, it was their determination that the entire building needed rehabilitation work.

Burgin said babies are not delivered on the island and expectant mothers are referred to Union Island or mainland St Vincent four weeks prior to their expected date of delivery.

He said all high risk pregnancies are referred to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH).

It is customary for a registered nurse from Union Island to visit the island three times a week, Burgin said, and the district medical officer for the Southern Grenadines made monthly visits to Mayreau.

Burgin said that he had however been advised that since the ferry which transports school children to Union Island had temporarily halted service as of July 1, because of the school vacation, a difficulty had arisen for the visiting nurse.

“It has presented a challenge to health workers,” Burgin said, but added that officials in his ministry were looking to rectify the problem. (DD)