Wednesday, August 20, 2003 – the Island’s Health and Human Services
Minister Honourable Damian Greaves has been reminding the public that there are
established procedures between public and private health care institutions for
accessing equipment, services and personnel for the smooth delivery of health
care services locally.
Minister Greaves in a televised statement on Monday, August 18th, 2003 pointed
to an arrangement that has existed from February 5th 1998, when Cabinet by
conclusion No.178 mandated the Ministry of Health to develop utilization
procedures. Under this agreement, stated Honourable Greaves, “patients referred
to Gablewoods/Tapion must be referred by the Chief Medical Officer’s Office, in
the case of persons requiring elective/non-emergency procedures; or by the
Medical Superintendent in the case of hospitals. Should emergency case referrals
be made, the consultant/accident and emergency officer other than the Medical
Superintendent would be the legitimate officer to authorise such referrals.”
Minister Greaves, who also holds the portfolio for Family Affairs noted that his
Ministry will seek to further strengthen the policy with respect to the issue of
access and availability of emergency diagnostic investigations such as CT scans.
“As a responsible agency of the Government, the Ministry of Health recognizes
the need for all citizens to have access to available treatment and diagnostic
technology and modalities,” said Minister Greaves.
“It is in this regard that we have engaged Tapion Hospital in ensuring that
emergency CT Scans and other radiology services are available to the patients
accessing care at public health facilities.” The Health Minister explained that
based on such arrangements, he and other senior health officials were of the
opinion that they have arrived at a workable solution for making these available
and accessible to citizens and residents in emergency situations. He spoke of
the spirit of shared services, a universal principle on which the health care
delivery system is predicated. That principle he notes, ensures the use of
emergency diagnostic equipment not provided in or by the public health hospital
system, was accessible privately to patients.
The Minister was at the time addressing the public on the circumstances
surrounding the death, last month, of 18 month old Leandre James of Bagatelle,
Castries, after he allegedly fell of a chair at home. The official autopsy
report revealed the cause of death was due to severe brain damage and
haemorrhaging, as a result of a fractured skull.