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Psychiatrist Dr. Ermine Belle. (Photo: Ministry of Health)
Psychiatrist Dr. Ermine Belle. (Photo: Ministry of Health)

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment announced on Tuesday it has secured the services of a psychiatrist.

The ministry’s arrangement with Dr. Ermine Belle of Barbados will fill a four-year void in the nation’s healthcare services.

Reports are that Belle will provide her services in St. Vincent and the Grenadines five days per month.

Neeka Anderson-Isaacs, communications officer in the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that Belle, a Barbadian, brings over 30 years of experience in the field of psychiatry.

She said Belle’s services will benefit the country tremendously as the ministry seek to improve all aspects of its health care services.

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Belle officially signed a contract with the Chief Personnel Officer, Corrine Gonsalves, on Monday to provide consultant psychiatric services for the next year.

“The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment continues to work to upgrade existing plans and programmes, thus strengthening our capacity to meet the growing psychosocial and psychiatric needs of our patients,” Anderson-Isaacs said.

“Dr. Belle joins the staff at the Mental Health Rehabilitation Centre and will enhance the work that is already being done there.

“The Honourable Minister of Health, Luke Browne, expressed elation at the prospects this addition brings to expanding our capacities in Health,” Anderson-Isaacs.

She said Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment, Cuthbert Knights, Registrar Dr. Karen Providence and Senior Nursing Officer at the Mental Health Rehabilitation Centre, Sister Diana Bailey were at the brief ceremony to formally welcome Belle to the team.

“Chief Medical Officer Dr. Simone Keizer- Beach reinforced the ministry’s commitment towards improving the mental health services provided to clients and said the entire health team will work with Dr. Belle to give her the support she needs to improve our services, which will impact not only health care but [also] our judicial services,” Anderson-Isaacs said.

5 replies on “After four years, SVG secures services of a psychiatrist”

  1. No disrespect, but this lady with all the wisdom that 30 years awards someone, looks like she’s about retirement age. Once she’s decided to relax herself, then who will be the psychiatrist? Is there no way for the health minister to recruit someone who could give more than just 5 days/month to the people of SVG? What are the stats on the amount of people with mental illness on the island? Is 5 days/month enough for everyone? And why must there be a ceremony, however brief or long, to celebrate the hiring of a much needed health professional?

  2. No disrespect VincyBabe,

    But since when does ages matters with the job one is doing? I rather have someone with years of experience and old, then someone who is young and not experienced in their job…. As Ronald Reagan once said to Walter Mondale when he was debating him……

    .””I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience,”

    Thank you very much!

    1. kalikcrick,

      I never said that she was too old. All I meant was that, yes, it benefits Vincentians to have her wisdom and knowledge, but how long will she be able/or even WANT to to do this? Is this sufficient for SVG? And then Vincy will be back to square one looking for someone else to replace her. One person only 5 days out of the month? Like I said, no disrespect. I respect my elders and count on their wisdom. I guess she’s better than having no one at all to help people with their mental health issues. I hope they find someone else to help her out.

  3. C. ben-David says:

    Will this woman be able to cure the country’s number one psychiatric illness: our Breadfruit Mentality Disorder?

  4. Five days per month? One week Monday to Friday? Not enough! Having a psychiatrist for 5 days a month does not change anything. Same old, same old. Nurses will continue to function as doctors and psychiatrists until something bad happens. But that is, was and will be the way of the healthcare system in SVG. Not much has changed since the days of the “Colonial Hospital” and the “Crazy Home” of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents days. Some changes to the facade of the buildings, but the modus operandi is older than dirt. Go figure!

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