JIS News

The Standards and Regulations Unit in the Ministry of Health has informed that the island’s 114 nursing homes were not adversely affected by the passage of Hurricane Ivan.
According to Director of Standards and Regulations, Princess Thomas-Osbourne, monitoring teams had visited over 25 per cent of the homes, while the others had been contacted by telephone to discern their status after the Hurricane. She said they were operating as usual without extensive damage.
“At this time we feel comfortably sure that there was no extensive damages and the services have not in anyway been compromised,” the Director stressed.
Although nursing homes are not the direct responsibility of the Ministry of Health, Mrs. Thomas-Osbourne said, the Ministry was concerned about the health of the residents, as it was responsible for overseeing the standards under which these homes were operated.
“We have from the public health perspective, a responsibility to ensure maintenance of the requisite standards,” she informed, adding, “what we have done therefore is to visit those homes, which we could visit and we have called those, which we have been able to call to find out whether any of them sustained damage that could compromise the health of the residents.”
Homes located in the Southern belt of the island fared well, with one suffering minor roof damage, which is now under repair. Mrs. Thomas-Osbourne also noted that visiting the homes was part of the routine work carried out during the year to ensure that the required standards were maintained.
“We try to visit each home even once a year except in cases, where we find that the standards are not being maintained and then there are revisits during the year,” she explained.
Meanwhile, the Unit will be hosting a workshop to further sensitise operators of nursing homes about the requirements for registration. The workshop will be held at the St. James Health Department on October 21, beginning at 9:00 a.m.