Elective and non-essential services restricted at the hospital

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ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, September 2, 2021 – In an effort to keep our patients, staff, and communities safe, Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre (SLBMC) is taking further measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be suspending elective and non-essential services at the hospital including surgeries and outpatient clinics. 

This change will go into effect as of Monday September 6, until further notice.  

“Patients affected by this change are being contacted by our care team. We are thankful for everyone’s understanding and appreciate the impact this is having on our communities. If patients are uncertain if their appointment is canceled, we ask that you contact the hospital,” said Dr. Albert Duncan, SLBMC Medical Director. 

“The measures we are announcing today are in keeping with the mitigation guidelines set out by the Ministry of Health to curb the spread of COVID-19 due to the fueling of cases by the Delta variant, and are intended to protect our team, our patients and the public, and most importantly, to manage what we expect may be tremendous demand on the system from spread of the virus,” said Dr. Duncan. 

Patients will still have access to essential treatments such as cancer care, antenatal (high-risk) care, and kidney dialysis. Also, planned imaging procedures such as ultrasound, CTs and MRIs, will NOT be cancelled at this time, and the hospital will also continue to accept urgent physician referrals.  

The Medical Director said, “If you already have an appointment at our Radiology Department, please show up for it. However, we are appealing to referring physicians to be mindful of the current situation and refer only urgent cases for imaging studies.” 

In addition to the clinics listed above, here are the exceptions: 

  • Lab— we will still provide outpatient services for the following patients who are… 
  • Immuno-compromised 
  • Pregnant 
  • Receiving cancer care 
  • Ophthalmology (Eye) Clinic 

If a community member suspects they may have been exposed to COVID-19, they are asked to phone the COVID Hotline: 46-COVID (462-6843) for further instruction.

You should only come to the hospital if your symptoms are severe, or a health professional has advised you to do so.

SLBMC will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and adapt as necessary to provide a safe environment for our patients, staff, and community. 

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