Eye Surgery Machine Now Available at JNF

Eye Surgery Machine at JNF HospitalEye Surgery Machine at JNF Hospital

One of the central themes of the political campaign in the lead up to the August 4, 2022 elections was the state of the health care system in St. Kitts and Nevis. The then-opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party charged the Harris-led administration of gross mismanagement of the health care sector and made several commitments to turn it around. Specifically, the then-government was criticised over the lack of basic modern equipment at the hospital, and in particular, outrage was expressed that the country’s only MRI machine was located at the St. Kitts Biomedical Foundation, an institute located at Bourryeau Estate that was established for the conduct of medical research on primates or monkeys.

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health unveiled a new piece of equipment that will enable the JNF Hospital to perform a range of surgical operations on the eye, including cataract surgeries. The unveiling was done during a tour of the country’s main hospital by Prime Minister and Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew, who made the following remarks in relation to the new development:

When the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Administration took office in August 2022, we recognized that certain critical pieces of equipment were needed. There was no microscope to perform specific types of eye surgeries such as cataract surgeries. As Minister of Health, I quickly sanctioned the purchase of the necessary equipment costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Having made a number of significant commitments to bolster the health sector, the Ministry of Health appears to be hard at work and has recently announced some of its recent achievements. Among these are listed the following:

  • MRI Machine sourced and purchased
  • 24/7 doctor availability at the Pogson Hospital, Sandy Point
  • Repeal of unnecessary and restrictive COVID-19 protocols
  • Financial assistance for children needing medical attention overseas
  • Life support training for over 250 health sector workers
  • Settling of a $2 million debt owed to medical suppliers
  • Planning coordination between the Federal government and the Nevis Island Administration
  • Upgrading of the chemical cabinet at the Oncology unit at the JNF hospital
  • Acquisition of automated urinalysis machines for the lab at JNF
  • Extended the operating hours of the blood bank at the JNF hospital

Delivery on other major commitments such as the construction of a major state-of-the-art medical facility is still being anticipated by the citizenry. In the meantime, the government has announced that a site in the vicinity of the Ross Universities has been identified for the construction of the hospital.

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