Beautiful Virgin Islands

Medical evacuation from remote areas must be prioritised- Hon Wheatley

Medical evacuation from remote areas must be prioritised- Hon Wheatley

Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) has highlighted the need for medial evacuation from the sister islands to be a priority.

Hon Wheatley was at the time giving remarks following his swearing-in at the Fifth House of Assembly at Multi-Purpose Sports Complex on May 18, 2023.

His comment also came on the heel of the tragic boat accident on Anegada on May 17, 2023.

“Madam Speaker, before I go on, I want to extend sincere condolences to the families who have lost loved ones recently, particularly the young man from Virgin Gorda who lost his life in the Anegada waters last evening.”

Police said the boat crashed into the ferry dock at Anegada and that the two occupants of the vessel were thrown forward and sustained injuries to their upper bodies. The men were transported to the Dr D. O. Smith Hospital, however, Bakima George subsequently died of his injuries.

It is unclear how long it took for George to be evacuated and receive proper medical attention.

“It is indeed very tragic and one of the challenges that we must prioritize immediately, that is, medical evacuation from the remote areas of the BVI, whether Anegada, Jost van Dyke, or Virgin Gorda,” Hon Wheatley stated.

The lack of proper medical evacuation facilitates and procedures for persons on the sister islands have long been a concern for affected residents.

VI partnering with UK Health Security Agency

Meanwhile, the Minister for Health and Social Development said his Ministry is currently conducting an assessment of the Primary Health Care System to strengthen and improve the delivery of health care in the Territory.

He said the Ministry has partnered with the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) who are currently in the Territory holding several meetings with a wide range of stakeholders from the public and private healthcare sectors and voluntary and community groups involved in and impacted by primary healthcare.

“Madam Speaker, I had the opportunity to meet with the representatives of the UKHSA on Monday where I was able to advocate for special consideration to be given to Sister Islands and their specific challenges, and to ensure that Primary Health Care Services meet the needs of people across the entire Territory,” Hon Wheatley shared.


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