BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - IN response to crticisms following a delay in transporting a patient to the JNF General Hospital, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has explained the cause of the problem and is reassure the public that health and safety remain paramount in the Federation.
The incident occurred on Thursday evening (Aug. 10) when a unit of the Emergency Medical Services responded to a distress call in the Frigate Bay area around 9:30 p.m.
While on its way to the hospital, the ambulance encountered a problem and assistance was sought from another ambulance.
In a media statement clarifying what transpired, the MoH said: “After receiving a distress call concerning a patient in Frigate Bay, an ambulance from the Joseph N. France (JNF) General Hospital was promptly dispatched. However, while enroute and only moments away from the destination, the ambulance encountered an unforeseen technical challenge. Prioritizing the safety of the patient and the crew, the ambulance team made the quick decision to pull over for an inspection.”
The statement continued: “Understanding the urgency of the situation, the EMS base was informed immediately. Given that a second Basseterre crew was already out on another run, the decision was made to dispatch a crew from Mary Charles Hospital in Molyneux to Frigate Bay to ensure the patient received prompt care.”
The health sector has come in for major criticisms in recent years following a number of incidents that resulted in the death of several individuals. But since taking office, the Dr. Drew-led Labour Administration has promised to upgrade the sector.
The Ministry said that during the “mild delay”, the EMS base “stayed in regular contact with individuals close to the patient”, which was done to ensure the patient's condition was constantly monitored and to guarantee that there was no deterioration in health status.
“Upon arrival, the EMS crew faced not only the medical challenge before them but also the pressures of concerned onlookers. Despite this heightened environment, they worked diligently and professionally, offering essential support to the patient. The crew successfully transported the patient to JNF Hospital in the shortest possible time, demonstrating unwavering commitment to their duty,” the statement read.
The MoH is reminding the public to “rely on official sources of information for updates on the status of our healthcare system”.