Charlestown, Nevis – Strategic investments by the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM)-led Nevis Island Administration (NIA) has ensured that citizens and residents on the island of Nevis have access to first-rate healthcare services.
Minister of Health the Honourable Jahnel Nisbett recently highlighted the Ministry’s efforts to fortify the island’s health systems, as a healthy populace underpins the foundation of the nation’s prosperity.
“Thanks to private/public partnerships and the support of friendly governments, the Ministry of Health was able to boost its services by adding major equipment.
“We acquired three new dental chairs courtesy of a US$30,000 donation by the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan); a Hydraulic Shower Trolley coming soon to the Flamboyant Nursing Home courtesy of a US$10,000 grant by the Swiss Embassy; and to complement the 128 Slice CT Scan machine that has to date serviced 235 Nevisians, we have now further upgraded the Radiology Department with a state of the art Picture Archiving and Communication System (PAC System). This represents a US$78,000 investment.”
The Minister further revealed that the government also invested in itself by adding a Portable Oertli Catarhex 3 Phacoemulsification System for cataract surgery at a cost of US$ 40,000, an operating bed valued at EC$ 56,236, and a new sterilizer at a cost of EC$ 93,439.
These latest acquisitions complement major medical equipment at the Alexandra Hospital such as the US$230,000 mammogram machine and the US$61,472 Chemistry Analyzer.
The Honourable Nisbett said as the NIA constructs the framework for the way forward with the understanding that for growth it must invest in its human resource capabilities, a policy has been implemented to assist individuals pursuing specialized qualifications in the nursing and medical fields.
“Often we encourage our locals to go off to study and specialize but accept that within the Ministry ‘money talks’, so you can’t expect every individual to be able to afford these ventures, and so the Ministry has made it its mission to be able to facilitate an environment where we can support those who are willing and ready to make this step.
“As such we have two medical doctors who are currently specializing in Cuba in anesthesiology and ophthalmology. We have one doctor in the United States who is pursuing Planning and Policy in Emergency Health. We have various individuals enrolled in the nursing programmes at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College and a nurse anesthetist due to return in 2024 from Jamaica. We also have one doctor and one nurse who are benefitting from a six-week training course in (Republic of China) Taiwan at no cost to them.”
She revealed that the NIA is providing monthly financial support to doctors who are specializing but did not qualify for study leave, and nursing students from Nevis enrolled in CFBC.
Premier of Nevis the Honourable Mark Brantley, in his 2024 Budget Address, stated that the after-effects of the Covid pandemic and the escalating cost of medicine continue to negatively impact the NIA’s ability to continue to provide the level of service necessary to maintain a healthy society. However the Administration is resolute in executing its plans to modernize and expand the diagnostic services for the people of Nevis.
To this end, in his Budget Address for 2024 themed “Investing for Growth: Building the framework to support a Resilient and Sustainable Economy”, Premier Brantley revealed that the Ministry of Health, Gender Affairs and Social Empowerment was allotted $48.3 million, which represents 17 percent of the total Budget.