by Linda Straker
- General Hospital fees not changed in several years
- Mandatory Covid-19 PCR test implemented as regional initiative on PAHO recommendation
- As of 9 March, more than 6,000 people over the age group of 18 have been inoculated
Hannah Julien-St Paul, Permanent Secretary for Hospital Services, has denied that the General Hospital has introduced a fee of more than EC$400 for labour and delivery. She has confirmed that all persons using the theatre department will have to undergo a Covid-19 PCR before surgery.
“At our hospital, we have not made changes to our fees in several years. Whatever fees that was, it still continues,” she said. St Paul is of the opinion that people are getting confused with the cost of the mandatory Covid-19 PCR test that was implemented following a recommendation from PAHO.
“This is the only test that I know that has a fee of EC$405. There are no fees for labour and delivery at the General Hospital, but for persons who are accessing our operating theatre for surgery.”
St Paul pointed out that the recommendation from PAHO for persons to first undergo a PCR test and obtain a negative result is a regional initiative. “If we were to put someone onto a machine in the operating theatre and they were a positive case, you could understand the catastrophe that can happen there.” St Paul reiterated that taking the test is one of prevention in this Covid-19 public health pandemic.
Since the first Covid-19 case was laboratory-confirmed in March 2020, Grenada has recorded 151 people testing positive for the virus. One male has since died. The Ministry of Health began its vaccination programme on 12 February 2021. Hopefully, by June/July at least 60% of the 112,000 population will be vaccination. As of 9 March, more than 6,000 people over the age group of 18 have been inoculated at various vaccination sites around the country.
Grenada is among Caricom countries that have received donations of vaccines from the Government of India. Grenada is also scheduled to receive 45,600 through the COVAX facility.