A group of British parliamentarians were taken on a tour of facilities at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) Thursday (July 30) to get an understanding of the operations of Jamaica’s health system.
The six parliamentarians, members of the United Kingdom Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), are being hosted by the Jamaican Branch of the Association.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Senator Aundre Franklin, and Opposition Spokesman on Health, Dr Fenton Ferguson, joined the group for the tour of the institution.
They were shown a specially ventilated room for use by H1N1 patients. However, Senior Medical Officer at the UHWI, Dr. Trevor McCartney, said that, so far, there has been no need to use the room.
Chief Executive Officer of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), Dr. Trevor McCartney (centre), explains the functions of the Haemodialysis Unit, during a tour of the hospital by visiting members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), United Kingdom Branch, on July 30. On the tour (from left) were: Chair of the Executive Committee of the CPA, United Kingdom Branch, John Austin; Opposition spokesperson for Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson; Head of Jamaica’s HIV/STI Programme, Dr. Kevin Harvey; Parliamentary Secretary in the Health Ministry, Senator Aundre Franklin; and Clerk to the Houses of Parliament, Heather Cooke.
“We have treated most patients with Tamiflu and they have recovered,” he explained.
There have so far been 56 confirmed cases of the virus in the island, and two deaths resulting from those cases. Dr. McCartney pointed out that the hospital was taking a proactive approach to the treatment of the H1N1 virus, and does not wait for confirmation to treat patients.
He stated that the waiting area of the casualty section has facilities to deal with patients suspected of having the virus. There are also provisions on the children’s wards for children who have contracted the virus.
Dr. McCartney also revealed that the hospital is in the process of acquiring new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) equipment, and rapid-test kits for detecting the virus.
Chief Executive Officer of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), Dr. Trevor McCartney (right), welcomes members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), United Kingdom Branch, to the hospital, during a tour, onJuly 30. Members of the group are (from left): Jim Paice, Bob Laxton, John Austin, Baroness Scott of Needham Market, Baroness Amos and Secretary to the delegation, Harriet Cooper.
Senator Franklin said he was happy to have the British parliamentarians tour the facility to see the progress being made in Jamaica in the area of health.
Chair of the Chief Executive Committee of the CPA UK Branch, John Austin, said he was pleased to see that the country was able to provide such a “high standard of care”, despite the economic constraints.