PR – Prime Minister, Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, initiated follow-up discussions with the Health Minister and Permanent Secretaries this week, following his recent series of engagements with nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals.
The meeting discussed the wide-ranging feedback coming out of the discussions with the frontline workers.
Psychosocial support was an area of critical concern shared by frontline workers and the Ministry of Health has already made those services available. Efforts are also underway to secure additional support to provide both in-person and virtual counselling.
The Ministry of Health has also started providing care packages for persons who test positive for COVID-19. These packages include masks, an oximeter to measure blood oxygen levels and a thermometer, as well as guidelines for home care.
Additionally, mobile teams have been deployed as part of the ongoing series of pop-up vaccination and testing clinics, to help minimise the number of persons using public transportation after being exposed to a positive case.
The Prime Minister has been assured that the Ministry has sufficient stocks of masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) and based on the high rate of use, there is ongoing procurement of these supplies.
Job security for workers is also a recurring subject of conversation and while this issue extends beyond the healthcare sector, Government is committed to pursuing the appointment of persons based on relevant criteria, experience and performance.
The Prime Minister concluded the meeting with an acknowledgement that the separation of the ministry under the guidance of two ministers and two permanent secretaries was an excellent decision that has resulted in greater efficiency and more issues being addressed.
The meeting was attended by Minister of Health, Hon Nickolas Steele; Minister with responsibility for Hospital Services and Community Health Services, Hon. Delma Thomas; Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, with responsibility for General Administration and Social Security, Mrs. Ann Isaac and Acting Permanent Secretary with responsibility for Strategic and Operational Management of the General & Subsidiary Hospitals, Mt. Gay Psychiatric Hospital & Richmond Home and Community Health Services, Mrs. Hannah Julien-St. Paul.