Ministry of Health plans Health Information System, Capital Projects

Minister of Health, the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett.
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— Efforts are being made by the Ministry of Health to build-out and fully execute its Health Information System (HIS) and consider other Capital Projects, according to Minister of Health, the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett.

During her Budget Presentation on The Appropriation (2021) Bill, 2020, on Wednesday, December 16, Hon. Byron-Nisbett said these projects are intended to support aspects of the Ministry’s ongoing work to provide quality health care to the population of St. Kitts and Nevis.

She indicated the HIS will be activated at all hospitals and community-based institutions to address the gaps in communication for an enhanced client information and referral system within the health sector.

She said the process has already commenced with additional employment and retraining of staff in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology.

“The Ministry is cognizant of a growing and evolving need to develop an integrated system,” said Minister Byron-Nisbett. “It seamlessly aggregates information, creates a database across components of the Ministry, eliminates redundancies, and improves accessibility to clients data. It will maximize the care clients receive and raising the profile of our health care system,”

Mrs. Byron-Nisbett said that the Ministry will do everything in its efforts to ensure that it improves its health information systems.

St. Peter’s Health Centre planned

One of the projects highlighted by the Minister was the construction of the new health centre in St. Peter’s.

“The expectation is that this health centre and this facility will be a modern facility that will replace the existing termite-infested, dilapidated structure,” said Mrs. Byron-Nisbett. “It has become unsuitable to provide quality evidence-based primary health care services to the over 4000 consumers of the health care sector in that area and its surrounding environment.

“We will make sure that this facility is properly equipped, has proper parking, and that individuals and families would be able to access care successfully,” she added.

Other health sector improvements include the Ministry’s continued work with the Public Works Department.

“With the help of Public Works, we will continue to build out our projects to improve the health sector infrastructure,” said Mrs. Byron-Nisbett. “One of these initiatives will be the Basseterre Health Centre, which would include the vital components of the main community public health facility as well as the environments and the maintenance units.”

At the institutional level, the focus will be placed on improvements to the infrastructure and service delivery of the Federation’s health institutions, said the Minister.

“One such area we will focus on is work regarding the general infrastructure and expansion of the Cardin Home, which is expected to commence in 2021,” she said. “Our elderly need to be in a safe environment, a comfortable environment, and even at this point our Cardin Home is at capacity. It is important for us to be able to do some expansions so that we would be able to house even more of our elderlies at that facility.”

There will also be the commencement of the construction of the Cardiac Categorization Unit to address the increasing local needs of clients with heart issues,” said Mrs. Byron-Nisbett.

“The Unit will include essential cardio equipment to align with all international standards,” she said.

Joseph N. France General Hospital Project

Mrs. Byron- Nisbett spoke to the phase three project of the Joseph N. France General Hospital. She said that phase three should have already been done since 2004.

“We know that during the first phases we would have seen the construction of the Accident and Emergency Area, Radiography, Laboratory, Pharmacy, Operating Theatre, the Wards, and the Administration Building,” she said. “However, there are other works that need to be done to upgrade the facility.”

In 2021, the Ministry will be embarking on a plan to move forward with the renovations, but specifically to the areas such as the Mortuary and the Pathology Lab, the Central Medical Stores, the laundry facility, the kitchen and the kitchen stores area, the Central Sterilization Unit and the Maintenance Workshop.

The health minister said that the Ministry is nearing the completion of the design of both the phase three of the JNF General Hospital as well as the Cardiac Unit.

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