US hospital ship to offer free medical services in Jamaica

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US hospital ship to offer free medical services in Jamaica
US Navy's hospital ship
The US Navy hospital ship, USNS Comfort will be anchored in Kingston, Jamaica between October 28 to November 1, 2019.

(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — Jamaicans are to benefit from the visit of the US Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), which will be anchored in Kingston to offer free medical services between October 28 to November 1, 2019, the US Embassy in Kingston said in a release.

This is the ship’s third visit to the island, said the release, which noted that more than 10,000 people received medical care in the previous missions. “For this mission, approximately 150 surgeries will be conducted onboard the USNS Comfort Ship.

“Basic medical services will be provided at the walk-in sites at the Sabina Park Sports Complex, Kingston and the Greater Portmore Health Centre, St Catherine,” said the embassy.

According to the release, the Ministry of Health & Wellness will select surgery candidates and conduct prescreening before making recommendations to the Comfort’s medical team for surgeries.

“Surgery candidates will be drawn primarily from existing waiting lists within the public health system. Candidates with the optimal clinical background and those who have been on the waiting list for the longest timeframe will be prioritised,” it said.

Onboard surgeries will fall under the categories of ophthalmology, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, oral maxillofacial surgery, plastic surgery, wound care and urology.

The categories of services offered at the medical walk-in sites are adult medical services, paediatric medical services, dental services, optometry, physical therapy and dermatology. The walk-in sites in Kingston and St Catherine will operate from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm each day on a first come, first serve basis.

“In order to see as many patients as possible, each person will be seen by only one provider, unless that provider deems additional services are needed for the identified condition and are available at the site,” the embassy explained.

The visit of the USNS Comfort is part of the ship’s five-month deployment to Latin America and the Caribbean on a medical assistance mission. The embassy release said its operation is part of the deepening of US engagement in the region under the health pillar of the US-Caribbean 2020 Strategy.

This marks the seventh hospital ship deployment to the region since 2007. USNS Comfort medical teams have provided care in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia and St Kitts and Nevis during this deployment.

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