The Mount St. John Medical Centre (MSJMC) is now equipped with fifteen state of the art Ventilators among other timely medical supplies.
Health and Environment Minister, Molwyn Joseph said that the set of General Electric Devices is a joint effort between the Government and local businessman George Bahri, who was instrumental in getting a forty foot container with the equipment for Mount St. John.
Speaking during a short ceremony at MSJMC, Bahri said that the donations were made possible through his connections with the Mayo Clinic/Rochester Medical Mission Group out of Minnesota and that the value of the contributions was well over one hundred and twenty thousand US Dollars.
Minister Joseph on the other hand said that from inception, the plan was to get nothing but the very best and latest ventilators for the country’s main health facility.
“This shows the progression, we are looking at the top of the line, most modern and highest technological equipment in Antigua and Barbuda, it’s true, when we decided to acquire these equipment, we didn’t go halfway, we went straight for a company that is well known in the world for producing some of the highest products and that is G.E”, Joseph said.
The Health Minister reiterated that the Mount St John Medical Centre remains a top priority for him and the Government.
“Of course, as we declared, as the Prime Minister made it clear, we are working towards a first world healthcare system and we are making some progress, we are pleased with what we have achieved so far but we will not sit on our laurels. This is a sustained effort to make sure that when we are finished, that at the end of this, Antiguans will not even think of leaving the shores to go anywhere to get healthcare and that is the goal”, Joseph noted.
He said that there is already strong evidence of a rise in public confidence in the delivery of first class services at the country’s chief hospital and revealed that 2015 showed that more and more people are using the labs and visiting the doctors at MSJMC.
“Confidence is being restored in our healthcare system right now; more people are coming to Mount St John more than ever before; last year, 2015, the number of laboratory tests that we did were seventy percent more than the previous year and that shows confidence and it shows where we have come from because there was a time when nationals could not get certain tests done in Mount St John and it would be too high for them to afford with a private lab so they would not bother doing the tests, so we are pleased with the increase numbers at Mount St John”, the Health Minister stated.
“It was about two or three months ago, I was in Cuba and we discussed that, so we will be getting more specialists out of Cuba, and these will be senior doctors. The Prime Minister has also encouraged me to go to India to see if we can also get some specialists out of India, and I have had some informal discussions with a hospital in New York and my intentions are to sit with the president of that institution to explore the possibilities where we can collaborate. And we will continue to build upon our relationship and collaboration with Martinique, who is an associate member of the OECS”, Joseph concluded.
Apart from the Ventilators, the other items that were donated included, Crutches, Canes, IV stands, wheelchairs, hospital beds and mattresses, diabetic supplies, sequential compression devices, X-Ray View Boxes, surgical gowns, urinary catheters, CPAP Machines and general medical supplies.