Minister Lee visits St. Lucia hospital

Minister Emil Lee (centre right) and Minister Mary Isaac (centre left), accompanied by INSO, Royal Haskoning, St. Maarten Medical Center and KPMG representatives.

PHILIPSBURG–A small group consisting of Minister of Health Emil Lee and one representative each of INSO, Royal Haskoning, St. Maarten Medical Center and KPMG visited Owen King E.U. Hospital in St. Lucia last weekend.

  During their tour of the hospital, built by INSO, the group met with Minister of Health and Wellness Mary Isaac. Discussions were held with Minister Isaac on possible areas of cooperation and why the hospital was not yet in use.

  Owen King E.U. Hospital, funded by the European Union, was completed approximately two years ago and has all necessary medical equipment in place, but is still not being used. The completed hospital experienced issues with the financial resources needed to make it operational and the training required to use the available high-tech equipment.

  Much of the equipment in Owen King E.U. Hospital is from Siemens and there is a gap in the skills of the personnel in terms of how to operate the modern equipment. For these reasons, the completed hospital remains non-operational.

  Visiting the hospital provided insight into what had been done well, which could be incorporated into the design of the new St. Maarten General Hospital, and what mistakes to avoid.

  “The hospital is just a building. If we don’t ensure that our staff are up-to-speed and that we have proper protocols and procedures in place, in the end it is just a building,” said Minister Lee on Wednesday.

  While in the construction process, it is important to ensure that the entire healthcare chain, healthcare system, staff knowledge and training, and more are all up-to-speed to safeguard that the new General Hospital meets the needs of its population.

Source: The Daily Herald