Controlled Simulation Exercise Was Essential To Evaluate The Emergency Preparedness Of JNF General Hospital

Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew.
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Basseterre, St. Kitts – As the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season looms, Prime Minister and Minister of Health, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, said he is pleased that the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the St. Kitts Electricity Company (SKELEC) and other partners carried out an important simulation exercise on Tuesday (April 23, 2024) evening to test the emergency preparedness of the Federation’s main health institution — the Joseph N. France General Hospital.

Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew.

“Sometimes you think that things are in order because you have not been hit by a disaster of a significant magnitude for some time, so you have to simulate it. Hence you had the sounds because in disasters things blow out, you see the smoke and all of those were very much controlled but what did not happen is that the people were not informed because you want [a simulation] to be as realistic as possible,” said Prime Minister Dr. Drew during the April 24, 2024, edition of the Roundtable.

While the nature of the simulation was undisclosed to the patients and the wider public to ensure authentic responses and reactions, Prime Minister Drew said measures were put in place to ensure the safety and well-being of all patients.

“What we made sure of was that no one was in the ICU [Intensive Care Unit] on any machine and no lives were at risk. The only thing is that you [there was] darkness for a short time,” he said.

Dr. Drew said the next step is to assess the preliminary results “to see where there might have been any issues, failures or so forth and where they were, we will address them.”

The prime minister took the opportunity to strongly denounce the actions of a few misguided individuals who used social media as part of their attempts to create unnecessary anxiety among the people.

“There was no crisis at JNF and what took place was a simulation that was managed by various agencies so that we can determine how ready we are to deal with any major disasters,” Prime Minister Dr. Drew stressed.

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