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MCMH

Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. (iWN file photo)

The Kingstown District Clinic will remain at its current location near Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH), after the completion of the Acute referral hospital at Arnos Vale.

Minister of Health Jimmy Prince told Parliament, on Monday, that the district clinic will continue to offer health services to Central Kingstown.

He was responding to a question by Central Kingstown MP, St. Clair Leacock, an opposition member, who noted that the government had announced the building of a new hospital in Arnos Vale but certain services will remain at the MCMH.

Leacock asked whether accident and emergency services will continue at MCMH and what special provision will be put in place for Central Kingstown “now that the hospital services will

be moved even further from the constituency”.

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Prince said that when the Arnos Vale hospital begins operating, MCMH will serve as a maternal and child health hospital.

He said that the maternal and child health hospital will retain an accident and emergency department which will offer full services for all age groups and sexes.

The health minister said the part of Leacock’s question about a health centre for Central Kingstown had been asked several times in the Parliament.

“…  and I thought that we’ve adequately addressed it. However, for his own comfort, let me say that the health sector of St. Vincent and Grenadines is not organised along constituency lines,” Prince said.

He said this is made clear by World Bank healthcare service classification and services scoping report, “which unequivocally stated that health services are provided by health centres across nine health districts”.

The minister said that based on the report, on average, each health centre is equipped to provide a service to a catchment area population of 2,900 people and no person is required to travel more than five kilometres to access care.

The report went on to state that the health system in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and, generally, the health infrastructure and available staffing are adequate, he told Parliament. 

He said Central Kingstown has daily access to district medical officer clinics through the Kingstown Health Centre, which is staffed by four registered nurses, two nursing assistants, four community health aides, two district medical officers, one family nurse practitioner, one health nursing supervisor, diagnostic facilities located centrally at the MCMH and specialist outpatient services at the same facility. Emergency care is accessible through the Accident and Emergency Department of the MCMH, Prince said.

“The people of Redemption Sharpes are guaranteed access to ambulatory, emergency and diagnostic health services.”

He further said that polyclinics are designed to address specific population unmet needs.

“Adequate provision has been made to meet the needs of the population in question. The Kingstown District Clinic has been duly discharging the usual health services and performing the functions required to serve the people of Central Kingstown.

“Building a new hospital in Arnos Vale will not at any time cause a disruption of services at the Kingstown District Clinic, given its central location, and proximity to the district, to the community of Central Kingstown has been serving the clients of surrounding communities.”

He said the services of the new hospital at Arnos Vale will be available for all constituencies, as those of the MCMH currently are.

Prince said the Kingstown District Clinic will continue to offer a wide range of health care services to Central Kingstown, namely: antenatal care, postnatal care, child health clinic, family planning clinic, district medical officer clinic, dressings, home visit, diabetics, hypertensive clinics, Mantoux tests and yellow fever vaccine on Mondays, emergency, counselling, home visits, and HIV testing and counselling.

“So, Central Kingstown is not losing anything by the construction of the Arnos Vale acute care hospital. In fact, it will be gaining,” Prince said.

Leacock then noted that Prince had said that healthcare services are not established along constituency basis.

“So, I’m just asking if it’s just the great misfortune of Central Kingstown that it remains the only constituency, notwithstanding significant population, not to have a dedicated healthcare facility?” Leacock said.

Prince responded:

Well, the Kingstown health centre can be considered a dedicated health service for Central Kingstown because you have Sion Hill Clinic also on that side and the other side. So that is dedicated. And if you look at the register, you’ll see most people from that area go to that clinic.”

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