Barbuda to get new hospital, says Joseph

Molwyn Joseph

The government will have to undertake the construction of a new hospital on Barbuda, as the Hanna Thomas Hospital was destroyed during Hurricane Irma.

Health Minister Molwyn Joseph, speaking on Observer Radio this morning, said all the equipment were also lost during the storm.

He said the government would have to replace those equipment.

Joseph reported as well that there were no patients at the medical facility during the storm.

“Well actually, when the hurricane passed there were no patients in the Hanna Thomas Hospital, but as it is now in terms of people on medication, I think we have identified at least about 30, and not only on medication for chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes, but we also have medication for people who are mentally ill…” Joseph said.

The health minister was unable to put a cost as to the damages sustained to the health sector on the sister isle as a result of Irma.

He said a number of factors have to be taken into account at first.

“We cannot quantify the financial impact because what we have to look at for instance is the infrastructure, we take for instance the cost of medication, we had to before the storm, we had to increase our inventory for certain types of medication, we had to incur additional cost with transporting medication for safety, for instance things like vaccine and insulin where we had to ensure that we had backup generators and so forth,” Joseph said.

Joseph addressed health care for Barbudans now resident on Antigua. Persons who need to fill prescriptions authorised by a doctor and who are without identification such as their medical benefits card will not be denied the benefits of the health services in Antigua, Joseph assured.

He noted that the Medical Benefits Scheme pharmacy was opened on Sunday to facilitate Barbudans requiring medication for chronic and other diseases.

Arrangements have also been made for the infants who have been brought over from the sister island, and who require medical treatment.

Five clinics – Clarehall, Gray’s Farm, Johnson’s Point, Browne’s Avenue and All Saints – have been earmarked to deal with cases from Barbuda.

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