(Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Monday 23 March, 2020): Due to the detection of the first COVID-19 case within the Turks and Caicos Islands, effective March 23, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., the public is hereby advised that as a proactive and precautionary measure, all non-essential services have been suspended at Cheshire Hall Medical Centre and Cockburn Town Medical Centre until further notice and only emergency operations will continue until such time.
These efforts seek to reduce non-essential patient traffic to the hospital to reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19, and divert health care workers to support emergency services.
Routine appointments will be rescheduled to a later date once normal operations resume. Patients with appointments for urgent surgical and specialty clinic referrals will be contacted and informed of the next steps based on clinical risk assessments.
The following emergency services will continue:
· High risk and emergency surgeries
· High risk antenatal clinics
· Emergency department
· Active chemotherapy treatment
· Inpatient services
· Urgent and emergency diagnostic imaging
The main hospital entrance will be closed and only accessible to high risk groups such as dialysis, antenatal and chemotherapy patients with pre-booked appointments. All other patients and persons who require emergency services are required to be screened in a designated pre-triage area near the entrance to the emergency department to access the facility.
The Ministry of Health and TCI Hospital continues to be engaged in dialogue throughout this public health challenge. The Ministry fully supports these prudent and necessary measures. We wish to assure the public that the decision for the protocols being put in place were not taken lightly and is in the best interest of patient care. The Ministry of Health will continue to work with TCI Hospital to ensure the best possible healthcare outcomes for all patients seeking care at this time as we fight the risk and potential spread of COVID-19.