Team Unity Administration Supports Public-Private Partnership With SKBMRI

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Team Unity, which is led by Prime Minister Timothy Harris, encourages public-private partnerships (PPP), and works with entrepreneurs in the private sector to help improve the quality of life in St. Kitts and Nevis. One example of a PPP is the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine at St. Kitts Biomedical Research Foundation.

“It makes no sense for the government to say they want to take control of the MRI Facility,” Eugene Hamilton, Minister of Health, said. “When private sector persons come to do that, they earn a living, and are independent of the government rather than depending on the State.”

Not everyone agrees with that statement. The St. Kitts and Nevis Opposition Labour Party, which is led by Dr. Denzil Douglas, oppose the MRI facility being privately owned. SKBMRI is the island’s first MRI facility and it is privately-owned.

Hamilton said the MRI machine in St. Kitts is three times better in quality than the one in Antigua and it reduces the cost of residents having to travel somewhere else to seek medical help.

Hamilton praised the performance being done at the St. Kitts Biomedical Research Foundation with the MRI machine. Although there are some people who are criticizing the MRI facility and its work, Hamilton said the facility has had a history of quality performance for 30 to 40 years. It is the envy of many nations around the world providing service trying to understand how diseases are cured using the green vervet monkey as the test case for such things. What has happened is that their findings have impacted the creation of certain medicines to be able to cure diseases,” he said.

Recently, an article critical of the MRI facility titled “St. Kitts-Nevis Health Minister confirms monkey and human being use same MRI machine at Research Foundation” was published. Eugene Redmond Jr., retired Yale University School of Medicine professor and founder of the St. Kitts Biomedical Research Foundation, responded to the article in a statement. He wrote, ““Most research facilities and medical schools in the United States allow magnetic resonance imaging of both humans and animals on the same equipment using strict protocols for cleaning and sterilizing all exposed surfaces between such uses just as operating rooms are thoroughly cleaned and resterilized between uses.”

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