Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says there are now 42 sites to facilitate priority coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for healthcare workers.
He said that 15 of the facilities are in the southern health region, 13 in the south east health region, 11 in the western health region and three in the northeast health region.
These sites, he pointed out, will give staff members an opportunity to test on requirement and give them priority.
He was addressing the Ministry’s weekly virtual COVID Conversations press briefing on Thursday (Oct. 22).
Establishment of the testing sites forms part of the Ministry’s welfare programme for the island’s public health workers. The one year initiative is expected to bolster staff well-being in light of COVID-19 and its impact on the health sector.
“We have begun the process of giving them access to a north coast facility for rest and relaxation and they are allowed a number of days at very minimal cost and there are a range of activities that will give them support,” Dr. Tufton shared.
He said that there are other measures that will be unveiled. “Some are already in place like the additional payment for the work that they do and we will make that public over time,” he noted.
The five components of the welfare programme are: Human Resource Management, Psychosocial Support, Rest and Relaxation, COVID Support, and Wellness.
The programme also includes mandatory rest days for staff, who would have worked excessive hours, and family support and counselling for those who are most impacted by the disease.