British Virgin Islands

Sunday, Jan 17, 2021

Smith points to staff shortage, worker fatigue at Health Services

Smith points to staff shortage, worker fatigue at Health Services

Territorial At-Large representative, Neville ‘Sheep’ Smith has called for the Minister of Health to increase staffing within the BVI Health Services Authority, to ease the workload of medical personnel.
Speaking during the December 31 sitting of the House of Assembly, Smith indicated that many medical personnel within the public health system have taken on administrative tasks, adding that this could lead to neglect of patients who need care.

“We have to see if we can dump some more people in there to help with those resources because we cannot be using the medical resources people to do administration work per se. Because there are some people in there (the Health Services) who are doing, let’s say, booking people to come to the BVI — and that is done through the Health Services.

We don’t need a doctor to do that, we don’t need a nurse to do that. So we have to be careful how we are doing that right now. I think we have to look and see how we could ‘beef up’ the Health Services and get them back to doing a lot more of what they are supposed to do,” Smith explained.

His comments come just weeks after BVI News published an article with the headline, COVID results delayed because BVI Health Services is short-staffed.

This news report attracted dissent from Minister of Health Carvin Malone who labelled the headline as “fake news” and “misleading”.

However, Smith, today pointed out that medical personnel within the public health system are “getting tired because now they’re working beyond their normal duties”.

“We have to be careful that they do not leave the people that need healthcare now because they’re focusing on something else. So I think we should start looking at how we could give more support to the staff during this pandemic because they’ve been working 24-7.

We have to find a way to help get them a little relief so I’m saying this to the Minister of Health,” said Smith, who also commended local health services professionals for their ‘hard work’ this past year.
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