by Linda Straker
- Committee will guide about admission if or when hospital system is flooded with Covid-19 victims
- Committee will comprise individuals from a medical background
- From mid-August Grenada has been experiencing a spike in Covid-19 infections and admissions
With significant increases in Covid-19 infections and hospitalisations, Grenada is to establish an Ethics/Triage Committee that will guide hospital healthcare providers about admission if or when the system is flooded with Covid-19 victims.
Health Minister Nickolas Steele said that the committee will be set up within the next day or two, and will comprise individuals from a medical background. “It exists everywhere else, and we need to be honest with the public,” he said.
“It’s time that we put that in place and hope that we never use it, what is referred to as an ethics committee — is a group of individuals who will decide when the hospital gets inundated who gets let in and does not,” he said during the weekly Tuesday’s Post-Cabinet briefing.
According to a medical official, the ethics committee is “a body of persons established by a hospital or health care institution and assigned to consider, debate, study, take action on or report on ethical issues that arise in patient care.”
“We do have to have that setup, I do hope that it is never used,” said the health minister who explained that the island is into phase 2 of its Covid-19 contingency plan. Phase 1 was setting up a special unit with 15 to 23 beds, and phase 2 is setting up an entire floor at the General Hospital that will accommodate between 15 to 47 patients. That floor is already set up at the General Hospital.
From mid-August, Grenada has been experiencing a spike in Covid-19 infections and admissions. The daily Ministry of Health Covid-19 Dashboard shows that as of 6 September, there are 25 people currently hospitalised and 1,185 active local cases due to community spread of the virus.
On 5 September 2021, the hospital recorded 7 Covid-19 related deaths. In total, there have been 12 Covid-19 related deaths in Grenada since March 2020.
Steele said that phase 3 of the contingency plan will see the converting of the 26-bed Princess Alice Hospital in the eastern parish of St Andrew into the designated Covid-19 hospital. Steele said that once such a decision is taken individuals with no Covid-19 related medical issues currently at the facility will be moved to another place for medical attention.