by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Health Facilities Project will enable health providers to interact quickly with patient health information
- ICT system will enable Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) for Xrays
Grenada’s Health IT infrastructure has been given a major boost with the establishment of network connectivity of all health facilities in Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique through the completion of The Network Connectivity to Health Facilities Project, enabling health providers to interact quickly with patient health information.
Network connectivity is the process of connecting the different parts of the network through access points (APs), routers, and gateways.
This critical piece of health IT infrastructure was made possible through the financing of $949,039 through the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC), under its Universal Service Fund Programme. The official handing over ceremony and live demonstration of the network was held on Tuesday at the Grand Anse Medical Station.
These medical facilities namely the Princess Alice Hospital, Princess Royal Hospital, Mt Gay Hospital, the Richmond Home and all other health centres and medical stations will also be outfitted with access devices that will allow medical practitioners to access the Government’s Health Information System. This system will also allow nurses and doctors to input and update patient information electronically.
The contract to execute the project was entrusted to Affordable Island Communications inc. which has undertaken 4 other similar projects in collaboration with NTRC.
Minister for Health Social Security and International Business, Nickolas Steele says this ICT system will enable the implementation of the Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) for Xrays introduced by Radiologist Dr Randy Becker, alumni of the St George’s University (SGU) School of Medicine.
“It is with this investment in ICT in our public health system that we can implement now throughout our health care facilities, for instance, a PAC system which is the Picture Archiving and Communication System for X-rays, which means that this health centre can access x-rays taken anyway else in Grenada in fact anywhere else in the world where with PAC system.”
Affordable Island Communications (AIsleCom) was required to supply, install, commission the network and equipment provided at the facilities. In addition, the contractor is required to provide support services including the maintenance and warranty support for all equipment supplied under the project for a period of 3 years.
President of AIsleCom, Dave George said his company is committed to ensuring that this project succeeds. “This is AIsleCom’s 4th USF project we have worked on together with the NTRC. The previous 3 projects involve providing ICT equipment to the schools for the disabled, 2 labs at TAMCC and a solar powered ICT centre at Gutt, St Andrew. Even though all of these projects are important, this current project in my view is the most critical as it pushes our nation’s health system several steps into the 21st century. The computers and connectivity that is supplied in this project will enhance our doctors and nurses’ ability to provide advanced care.”
The Universal Service Fund was established by the Government of Grenada pursuant to the Telecommunications Act 31 of 2000, to promote or to otherwise provide Universal Service in Telecommunications.
Gregory Bowen Minister for Infrastructure Development, Public Utilities, Energy, Transportation, and Implementation spoke of the importance of developing Grenada’s ICT Infrastructure. “Your government has been actively working to build up the digital Infrastructure through the Caribbean Regional Communication Infrastructure programme, CARCIP. This Infrastructure layer is intended to serve as the backbone for the deployment of e-government services and to augment projects such as network connectivity to the health facilities project. As a government, we understand that ICT has to remain as the centre of everything we do.”
Under the Universal Service Fund (USF) Telecommunication Infrastructure will provide broadband in the community of Morne Longue and Davy and on the sister isle of Carriacou.