Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says in the coming weeks, the Government will be announcing the employment of additional medical doctors in the sector.
At a press briefing after a meeting with medical staff at the Savanna-la-Mar Public General Hospital in Westmoreland on July 19, Dr. Tufton said the additional personnel will help those doctors that are already there who have to deal with the high number of patients seeking services and to have a better rotation system.
He added that the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service has given the go-ahead to “develop the proposal in a more tangible way”.
“The doctors are available; therefore, it’s just for us (the Ministry of Health and Wellness) to finalise that arrangement and put things in place,” the Minister said.
Dr. Tufton pointed out that the meeting was an opportunity for the medical staff of the facility to make known any challenges that they may be having at the hospital.
“I used the opportunity to discuss with the doctors and nurses what the shortages are like or other areas that have gaps. I think it was a good conversation to have, [to get] an understanding of the pressures that they are encountering and what needs to be done,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton also toured sections of the hospital, including areas at the facility designated for COVID-19 patients.
“I looked at the COVID-19 facilities which are not being actively used because, fortunately, there are not a lot of COVID cases in the parish, which is a good thing. But they (the staff) are prepared, and they are ready to house persons,” the Minister said.
For his part, Senior Medical Officer at the hospital, Dr. Suman Vemu, thanked the Minister for providing the staff with an opportunity to voice their challenges.