Health Minister Alvina Reynolds has said she is aware of the problems which affect operations at St. Jude Hospital.
On Thursday , July 17, Leader of the Opposition Dr. Gale Rigobert, in a press release, highlighted a number of concerns which she said are dire and “threaten to cripple the operation” of the southern hospital.
Dr. Rigobert, in the release, pointed to financial constraints as being the reason for a host of the problems at the institution. One of the highlighted glitches is the hospital’s alleged inability to purchase basic supplies such as toilet paper and commonly used medication such as Panadol and Tylenol.
Another issue she touched on was reports of constant malfunctioning of essential hospital equipment. The opposition leader also said that the “deteriorating structure” at the make-shift hospital (George Odlum Stadium) has also been causing some anxiety among staff and patients. Dr. Rigobert had called on the prime minister and minister of health to address the issue.
Speaking at a ceremony to welcome a new Board of Directors at the St Jude Hospital on Thursday, the health minister said she is aware of the challenges. While not pointing to any one specific problem, the health minister indicated that financial constraints are indeed the main cause of the issues.
She said government is currently looking at remedying the situation in the best way it can. She said in the next few months, the ministry will look at transitioning and addressing as many concerns as it can. Security of staff and patients and overcrowding are among what is to be tackled.
Reynolds took the opportunity to thank and advise the new board to bring a sense of dedication, determination, problem solving skills and creative thinking, along with communication to the table and “leave nothing to chance” even as the situation may not look too encouraging.
“We as ministry are to listen and to work with you as much as possible. Whatever affects St. Jude, ultimately will affect us. I would like to know that all things are right….I would like to know everything is perfect but it’s not happening now. We are going through the challenges and of course it will be felt trickling down into our health sector,” she said.
“We are forced to make some cuts, yes – of course it will stretch you. Those decisions will stretch you to capacity as to what can you bring forth,” she said, while telling the new board that her ministry is “committed to working through with you.”