Thursday, February 22, 2018

Greater customer service for patients, says Khan


Mark Fraser

Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan says his Government is moving toward having all health institutions in the country internationally accredited. 

This is part of his ministry’s strategy to give better customer service to patients from entry to exit out of health facilities, not only at public health institutions but in private ones as well. 

Khan made the statement as he was contributing to the budget debate in Parliament last Friday night. 

His goal, he said, was to have ensure greater customer service for patients. 

To this end, not only will the People’s Partnership Government improve the standard of health care by adding some 3,000 nurses who have been training but will also expand its hospital network infrastructure to have better geographic coverage and ease the burden from different units, especially the Accident and Emergency units.

Khan said significant progress had been made at a number of hospital facilities such as the Point Fortin Hospital where a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with the government of Austria to assist. 

Further, he expects to open the Chancery Lane complex, in San Fernando by November and transfer patients from San Fernando General Hospital to that facility while an upgrade is being done on that hospital. 

This would increase the capacity to 750 beds, he said. 

For the Sangre Grande Hospital, he said the Government was seeking to engage local contractors and local financial institutions to embark on this project. 

To complement the geographic disbursement of health facilities, a sea ambulance will be introduced at Cedros and Chaguaramas with attendant mini-hospital facilities. 

To complement the health architecture, he said, everyone will eventually have a National Health Card, which they can use at any facility. He explained that this card would feed into a medical nucleus where patient information is stored so his/her medical history is easily accessible for health practitioners 

Government will begin this programme with CDAP users and migrate it to the population. 

The health cards will work in hand with the digitisation of medical records.

Khan said the country was winning the battle against the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) as there has been a decrease in the number of cases being reported.

But the fight against HIV is just one instance, he said, of measures being taken to improve the overall health care system. 

He noted that deaths related to dengue fever were also down and Government would soon have an Insect Vector Building based in Cunupia to put greater emphasis toward dealing with dengue.