(Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – February 24th, 2021): The incoming Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services, Honorable Erwin Jay Saunders, and Member of Parliament, Honorable Jamell Robinson conducted a tour of the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre in Providenciales on Tuesday, February 23rd 2021 to review the hospital’s current operational status and the COVID-19 response.
The island of Providenciales has been the epicenter for COVID-19 cases and the medical center has cared for 98% of COVID-19 patient admissions. The national management and stabilization of the COVID-19 pandemic is a major issue on the incoming Government’s agenda, and the newly elected officials were eager to understand the latest developments at the secondary health care level.
Chief Executive Officer at InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital, Dr Denise Braithwaite-Tennant and General Manager of Facilities, Martin Dawtry, spearheaded the 2- hour tour. Special areas of interest were the hospital’s 749 square meter shelled space, which can be developed to increase the hospital’s capacity as a long-term resolution. The area was constructed since the inception of the hospital as a spare unfinished space for any future expansion needs, and is temporarily used as storage for hospital supplies.
The Outpatient Department renovation project was another key area. The duo examined 12 consultation rooms, which were retrofitted with medical gas lines for oxygen support, inpatient beds and other biomedical equipment late last year. Resources are pre-deployed into the area only under circumstances where the number of COVID-19 patient admissions exceed the bed capacity of the General Wards. Six Outpatient Department consultation rooms were also retrofitted at the Cockburn Town Medical Centre in Grand Turk for the same purpose.
Other departments visited during the tour include the Maternity Ward, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, General Ward, Surgical Suites, Radiology, Laboratory, the Emergency Department and designated areas used for the assessment of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases. The tour was followed by an introductory meeting with the hospital’s senior management team. The incoming elected officials are due to be officially sworn into parliament this week after the national General Election, which was held on February 19TH, 2021.
Commenting on the tour, Honorable Erwin Jay Saunders stated: “It was a great tour. I am happy that we were able to conduct this tour of the facility from the top to the bottom to see what is happening. I believe the team is doing a fantastic job with the available resources, and we look forward to working with InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital in a partnership approach to provide the community with quality health care.”
Honorable Jamell Robinson stated: “As a first visit, it was great to see the inner workings of the TCI Hospital as a Member of Parliament rather than a patient. I think we are blessed to have the facility and the ability to do the type of expansion that we need to be able to cater to our normal patients, in addition to our response to the COVID-19 pandemic that is ongoing. It is very promising, and we look forward to working closely with InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital and the Ministry of Health to stabilize the pandemic until the vaccines have been fully distributed.”
Chief of Medical Services, Dr Denise Braithwaite -Tennant said: “It was a very productive visit, and we are grateful that the Members of Parliament took the opportunity to see the excellent groundwork that has been reached with the Outpatient Department Renovation Project, and other projects that were achieved collaboratively with the TCI Government. It was also important for the MP’s to examine the shelled space as this is a pivotal moment in time that requires a discussion on the development of this space to expand critical care and additional inpatient beds. This would allow us to remain sustainable and resilient for the future.”