Residents urged to utlilise rural health centres and clinics
September 13, 2013

Residents urged to utlilise rural health centres and clinics

Health administrators are adopting strategies to encourage residents to make full use of rural hospitals and clinics, which would ease the burden on the main Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) in Kingstown.{{more}}

As he addressed the opening ceremony of the Georgetown Smart Hospital last Saturday, Health Minister Clayton Burgin called on individuals who reside in rural areas to use the hospitals and clinics located closer to them. He indicated that senior officials in his ministry would be implementing a number of strategies to address the influx of persons at the MCMH.

The minister stated that patients are self-referring themselves to the MCMH, for the conveniences offered there, creating some pressure on the health care system.

“I would wish to say here today, that with the reopening of this hospital and also the Stubbs polyclinic, they are now both available to reduce the burden placed on the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.

“And let me emphasize here, that the Permanent Secretary and the Chief Medical Officer have embarked on a mission to make this facility and the one at Stubbs and also other rural hospital and clinics fully functional.”

Luis deShong, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health told SEARCHLIGHT this week that efforts are being made to have fully functional services readily available at the rural facilities.

“We are trying to increase coverage at these facilities, by making sure that our clinics are even more operational and that we have more fully functional services.”

The permanent secretary said that the polyclinic at Stubbs, recently reopened, should be used by patients in the area.

He said that the facility offers most of the services, at the same quality, as the MCMH.

There are 39 district clinics and five district hospitals (Union Island, Bequia, Mesopotamia, Georgetown and Chateaubelair) in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

deShong said that the refurbishing of a number of these facilities and increased staffing would also persuade patients to use facilities closer to them. He pointed out that since the opening of the Georgetown Smart Hospital, plans are being put in place to have a number of patients at the MCMH relocated to that facility.(JJ)