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Reduction In Visits To Public Health Facilities

By: , May 21, 2021
Reduction In Visits To Public Health Facilities
Photo: Donald De La Haye
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton making his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (May 19).

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Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says provisional data indicate that in 2020, there were 2,836,758 visits to public health facilities compared to 3,306,040 in 2019.

There were 1,000,765 visits to public hospitals when compared to 1,223,854 a year earlier and 1,256,295 for the five-year average.

In addition, there were 1,835,991 visits to health centres compared to 2,082,186 in 2019, but the figure was greater than the five-year average of 1,601,668.

Dr. Tufton was making his contribution to the 2021/22 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (May 19).

Giving a breakdown of the hospital visits, he informed that there were 413, 479 outpatient visits last year, representing a 34.4 per cent reduction and 587,286 accident and emergency visits, which was a 6.2 per cent decline.

In addition, total births were 34,259, which was a 4.9 per cent reduction, while hospital admissions fell by 16.3 per cent to 145,232.

Total surgeries increased by 7.5 per cent to 74,647.

He said that the areas of reduction “came as no surprise to us, as strategic changes were made in our operations to ensure the continuity of care for patients, adequate infection prevention and control, and for general public health response”.

These included the use of telemedicine for continued care of patients previously seen in hospital outpatient clinics and health centres.  “Indeed, some had their prescriptions delivered, particularly the elderly,” Dr. Tufton noted.

In addition, patients were given longer appointments and prescriptions where possible, and some services were curtailed to assist in the general response.

Last Updated: May 21, 2021

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