HEALTH and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville during his tour of the Sandilands Rehabilitation
Centre. Photo: Patrick Hanna/BIS
By FARRAH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
HEALTH and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville said the government needs to find the resources to repair “crumbling” infrastructure at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre.
His comments to reporters came after a tour of the facility on Friday.
“Many of the patients that are in the wards are well kept, but as we go through the wards, we begin to realise that some of the infrastructure is crumbling and we need to find resources to begin to get the infrastructure back to a level that is satisfactory for the caring of our elderly and our paediatric special children,” he said.
“As I toured the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, the first thing that came to mind is where we are with our COVID protocols. I am pleased that (SRC) staff have definitely come up with a plan. That particular plan we will develop and we will work upon to ensure that everyone who is permanent here at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre will be safe.”
Dr Darville said SRC has the protocols to prevent cross-contamination. He also said if they find themselves in a situation where a patient tests positive for COVID-19, facilities are available to isolate and quarantine them.
“So we’re building capacity, we’re improving on what we’ve found and at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, we find ourselves in the position where the healthcare professionals at this institution are doing their endeavour best to protect those who are in the institution, permanent residents and those who are actually receiving treatment and will soon be released as an outpatient.”
Dr Darville said COVID-19 continues to pose a “serious problem to the country.” He said his ministry was watching the numbers “very closely”. He said the Davis administration is trying to increase hospital capacity.
“It's important for the government as well as health care professionals to be ready in the event that we find another massive surge (because) we need to be able to handle it,” he said. “A few days ago we had the ability to tour the Princess Margaret Hospital, a couple of days prior we had the opportunity to look at the South Beach COVID clinic and look at ways how we can improve that infrastructure and create additional bed capacity for those cases that are positive for COVID and ambulatory.
“We toured the Princess Margaret Hospital and it is clear that there is much renovation going on and we are in a situation where the hospital is at pretty much maximum capacity. We had the ability to tour the Samaritan’s Purse pathogen centre...our nurses are doing an excellent job, but we are in the hurricane season and there is a tropical depression out there and we always must think in terms of hurricanes.
“And so even though those facilities are functional, if we have a hurricane with high winds or heavy rain they will be compromised and it's important for the Ministry of Health COVID task force as well as those who are on the front line to have an alternative site. We’re looking at that and we’re trying to build capacity as we speak.”