(PRESS RELEASE) — The Ministry of Health and Wellness in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, is coordinating a voluntary medical mission by the United States Naval Ship (USNS) Comfort, due to be in St. Lucia from September 23 to October 2, 2019.
The ship will be anchored just outside Port Castries and two ‘walk-in’ clinics will be set up at the OKEU Hospital and National Cultural Center to provide general clinical services. All services are provided free of charge and are available for all who would need care. There is no pre-registration or appointment necessary for the clinics. Persons can simply walk in and request medical care.
The services will be provided at the OKEU Hospital and the National Cultural Center from September 25-30, 2019 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
General services to be provided include basic medical evaluation and treatment, preventive medicine, dental screenings and treatments, optometry screenings and provision of glasses, internal medicine, pediatrics, dermatology, women’s health, physical therapy and provision of medication, as needed.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness held meetings with the USNS coordinating team from Monday, September 16, 2019, and would like to update the public on the following:
– Due to the size of the hospital ship and the depth of our harbour, we will not be able to accommodate the vessel at Pointe Seraphin, but it will be berthed at sea and a smaller vessel from La Place Carenage, Gate #2, will transport patients to the ship.
– All surgical patients and patients requiring CT scans need to be accompanied by an adult when coming for surgery. This person would be required to remain on the ship during the provision of care and duration of the admission on the ship.
– All patients confirmed for surgery are required to attend pre-screening on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, at 8 am at the OKEU Hospital. These clients will be contacted by the Ministry of Health.
– All other clients who may need surgery and have not sent in referral can access the walk-in clinics for review and scheduling of surgery.
– Arrangements have been made via the president of the National Council of Public Transportation to provide shuttle service to the OKEH Hospital via the Ciceron and Bexon buses and the National Cultural Center via the La Clery Buses.
– During the medical visit, contraband will not be allowed. This includes cigarettes, marijuana, alcohol, licensed and unlicensed firearms and weapons. Do feel free to walk with water and snacks.
– During the clinic setup of September 23-24, 2019, the public is alerted on increased activity from the port to the site of the clinics. This will include low-flying helicopters.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness is pleased that Saint Lucia was chosen to participate in this humanitarian mission and encourages all to make full use of this opportunity for free medical care.