By Carlena Knight
One medical official in Barbuda is calling on the relevant authorities to assist with the current healthcare system on the sister isle.
According to Dr Jeremy Deazle, there are a number of areas he believes can be improved, not only at the Hanna Thomas Hospital but on the island overall, to elevate the level of care given to its residents.
However, a laboratory and an X-ray machine are urgently needed.
“I think for the past few years we never had a full functioning lab up and running. Most persons in Barbuda have to travel to Antigua just to get a simple blood test. For example, if a person has an underlying blood clotting issue, these persons have to do an INR test every two weeks, and if that’s the case they have to travel to Antigua or stay in Antigua during that time to get this particular medication to get those tests done. So, it will be good to have a fully functioning lab in Barbud,” Dr Deazle said.
“It will also be good to have an X-ray machine so that whatever the case may be, if someone falls, they can get their X-ray done in Barbuda. We are trying to bring the standard of care that we have at the Hanna Thomas Hospital up to par.”
A newly built infectious disease center on the sister isle and a purpose-built shelter is another issue Deazle said can be implemented.
“We hope to see a new rebuilt structure not only for Covid-19 but we have to plan for the future as well for other infectious disease. As you see they retrofitted the Holberton Hospital into an infectious center and we will hope to see that in Barbuda one day. We can’t forget that we are also in hurricane season and one thing I always wanted is to ensure that we have a proper facility just in case there is devastation. You know back in 2017, we had Hurricane Irma there was a lot of damage so it would be good to have a facility in case that persons that close to the shores or don’t have proper housing are able to go to these facilities,” he added.
He says it is the responsibility of both the Barbuda Council and central government to ensure these issues are addressed.
But according to Barbuda MP Trevor Walker some of these matters are already being looked at.
“Since Hurricane Irma we have been trying to get the hospital fully functioning with all aspects of it including the lab, the dental part of it and so on. It has been a challenge but I think there is light at the end of the tunnel because we have been speaking with some donors out of the United States. They have had several meetings with the Barbuda Council and they have promised in earnest that they are going to assist us in getting that lab up and going. I am very optimistic that working with Dr Deazle and his team at the hospital, I am quite sure we will get that situation at the hospital situation sorted out very soon,” Walker said.