Former Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen King is urging government to put certain mechanisms in place to ensure a smooth transition to the island’s new national hospital – the Owen King EU Hospital.
Dr. King said government should “cut the red tape” and put systems in place to make rapid and effective decisions, otherwise this could compromise the opening.
“We need to understand that commissioning this hospital is one of the biggest tasks in many years, if not all the years in the health sector,” he stated.
The Independent Senator said government need to also seriously look at introducing health care reform before the opening of the hospital, in order to create one health care system.
“We cannot go into this hospital which is smaller and more expensive, yes it is of higher quality in terms of its physical infrastructure, but for that physical asset to be translated into health care, we need to be able to have personnel in place and we need to create an integration with the community,” he stated.
Dr. King believes that by doing so, it will help to reinforce community health services, such that people are protected from getting sick and into the hospital, and getting people quicker to the hospital.
He said establishing an integrated health information system is also priority. By introducing this, there will be an integrated set of protocols and care standards that everyone will abide by and apply.
“I think fundamentally, the commitment of us as health care workers, the passion to do our jobs and the commitment to do what is right is also necessary,” he added.
Health service and health financial reforms will also be needed and more will be required to support medical professionals to build moral and make them feel happy about being part of the process.
“We are looking forward to the government liquifying the system. It’s too frozen, bureaucratic, slow. We need to change that and get out of the box and start thinking in a more radical manner,” he ended.