Beautiful Virgin Islands

Friday, May 27, 2022

Cuban health brigade helped mask staff shortages – Health Minister

Cuban health brigade helped mask staff shortages – Health Minister

Health Minister Carvin Malone said a ‘Cuban brigade’ of doctors helped mask severe staff shortages experienced by the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA), including during the most recent COVID-19 outbreak in the territory.

Appearing on JTV’s ‘The Big Story’ recently, Malone said the ‘Cuban brigade’ was able to stand in the gap while a number of other processes were being put in place.

The Health Minister emphasised that Registered Nurses (RNs) and doctors of different disciplines are highly required in the territory.

A 22-member team that comprises internist doctors, intensive care specialist and nurses, emergency response doctors, as well as those trained in infectious diseases started assisting local healthcare workers in August, 2020.

At the time, Premier Andrew Fahie described having the Cuban team in the territory as an important milestone.

Challenges in NHI prompt emergency meeting

Speaking about the territory’s National Health Insurance (NHI), Minister Malone said there are challenges that prompted calls for an emergency meeting to address the issue.

According to Minister Malone, a reduction in the workforce due to COVID-19 induced absences and consequently reduced revenues for the NHI.

“And you have [an] increased number of cases because folks are popping up or coming to the emergency ward. [This] has to be looked at in terms of getting into the special unit, [and has] to be looked at in terms of being cared for around the clock,” Minister Malone said.

He added: “So, it is a growing concern and a very heavy strain on the public purse. So we have to be mindful that we have challenges in this particular field.


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