Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, Medical Chief of Staff at the Joseph N. France General Hospital

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – There are no financial barriers for any patient who comes to the Joseph N. France (JNF) Hospital Emergency room for medical treatment for asthmatic patients or any other emergency condition, according to Medical Chief of Staff, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson. In addition, JNF recently initiated a pilot 12-hour nurses shift program in its Surgical Ward and Intensive Care Unit aimed at maintaining effective and efficient patient care.

“If one does not have the financial means they are never turned back, so again I cannot foresee any situation where any patient is denied care at the Joseph N. France Hospital because they did not have funds when they were presented to the emergency room,” Dr. Wilkinson explained.

Dr. Wilkinson responded to recent claims on social media about an asthmatic patient being refused treatment for financial treatment due to financial reasons. He said all asthmatic patients are seen at the Emergency Room and given medical attention immediately on arrival.

At the same time he reaffirmed the hospital’s policy, which ensures there is no financial barrier to any person seeking any other medical care at the hospital’s emergency room.

“As a matter of fact, any asthmatic patient who is having an attack can simply walk right into the asthma bay, let the nurse on call know what the problem is and treatment would be started as soon as they are assessed,” Dr. Wilkinson said.

When any asthmatic patient comes to the hospital, according to Dr. Wilkinson, there is never any financial barrier to obtain treatment.

“Therefore I cannot foresee a situation where an asthmatic would have had to be turned back because they had no money to pay, because such situation cannot exist under the current policies that we have at the hospital,” Dr. Wilkinson explained.

Dr. Wilkinson reaffirmed JNF General Hospital’s policy, which ensures that there is no financial barrier to any person seeking any medical care at the JNF Emergency Room.

“There is never any financial barrier to access to care,” Dr. Wilkinson said. “If a patient comes into the emergency room with an emergency, he or she is seen. Of course, there would be questions after about the financial arrangements as it relates to the payment for services offered and that is either done concurrently or it’s done at the end of the treatment process.”

12-hour nurses work shift ‘pilot program’ began July 6

By a unanimous decision, a majority of the nursing staff at JNF General Hospital supports a pilot 12-hour shift in the Surgical Ward and Intensive Care Unit aimed at maintaining effective and efficient patient care.

According to Sonia Daly-Finley, Health Institutions director, a unanimous decision at a July 6 staff meeting agreed a 12-hour pilot shift would benefit the hospital’s operations.

“They have, with the support of the Quality Assurance/Infection Control Officer discussed the new shift with the staff. The majority of the staff was in agreement,” said Daly-Finley. The 12-hour pilot program began July 9 in the Surgical Ward and Intensive Care Unit. It will continue through Sept. 29.

“The impact of the 12-hour shifts will be monitored by the Nursing Office and the Quality Assurance/Infection Control Officer, and feedback will be provided at the end of the pilot period,” Daly-Finley said.

In the United States and the United Kingdom, 12-hours nursing shift are the norm, replacing the 8-hour shifts that were common decades ago. Some of the benefits of the 12-hour shift have been a shorter work week with more days off; flexibility; better continuity of care for patients and an enhanced work-life balance.