The vision for the health care system in Grenada was outlined Wednesday as Health Minister Hon. Dr. Clarice Modeste Curwen made her presentation on the 2013 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure.
Health care was one of five sectors with the largest allocations in the 2013 Budget; receiving $62.6 million.
The Health System was described as being in a deplorable state when the New National Party Government came into office.
It was discovered, that there is a lack of basic medicines and other medical supplies at hospitals and clinics.
Added to that, the Ministry of Health is in arrears with the OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Services,and local private suppliers of medicines. Some of these suppliers are no longer willing to do business with Government.
In an effort to get out of debt and restore supplies, Government has allocated $11.3 million to alleviate the problem.
On the issue of the General Hospital, Health Minister Hon. Dr. Clarice Modeste announced that Government will continue work on the steel structure at the hospital.
Assistance from friendly Governments will be pursued in this regard. Minister Curwen said, assessments were conducted to determine the feasibility of the structure. Upgrades will be done on the eye ward and lab, as well as other infrastructural problems.
The Health Minister also addressed the notion of constructing a new hospital, and said it will not be endeavoured at this time.
“We believe that a new facility will certainly enhance what we do at the hospital, and discussions are being held by the relevant persons to see how we can engage the persons for the construction of a new hospital, but we know it will take some time”the Minister said.
The Health Minister said, she has been told that it will take a minimum of 18 months. She said, having visited the hospital, it is obvious that Staff cannot wait for 18 months or 2 years, something must be done now.
The infrastructural work that will be done does not rule out a new hospital, but it’s a step towards improved physical conditions for Staff, Minister Modeste said.
“We have also looked at, if a new hospital comes, what will happen. And so we have looked at plans to utilize that space for other health care services, while we move into newer facilities”Dr.Modeste said.
Primary Health Care will play a pivotal role in administering proper services to the people of Grenada.
An initiative called the Primary Health Care Extended Programme will be rolled out this year.
The Minister said, that Government has come up with a plan to extend the hours, and expand outreach, and so medical stations in St Patrick, St John, St George’s and Grand Anse will be opened from 8:00am to 8:00pm.
“There will be a physician there to attend to patients”, the Minister of Health said.
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