Former minister wants OECS to develop hubs for health services

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In light of Antigua & Barbuda’s plan to become a hub for transplants, ministers of health and finance in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) are being challenged to act on plans to create specialised hubs for health services in their respective countries.
Alvina Reynolds, who served as a minister of health in St Lucia, said while the suggestion had been for the OECS to move in this direction, the member states “have not moved beyond the words on paper” after many years.
“It is a brilliant idea for the OECS territories to share those state resources as it relates to health care in the region,” she said.
She added that not enough effort has been put into efforts to create these hubs, but many are presently unable to afford accessing services which are not provided in their countries in places like the United States.
Reynolds highly commended Antigua & Barbuda for its decision to become a transplant hub in the OECS.
Last week, the country made regional headlines after completing two successful kidney transplants in as many days.
The surgeries required a main team of 15 people, six from Ohio and the remaining were local health care professionals.
But Reynolds said governments need to pump more resources into the sector.
“It’s true that not enough financial resources are being put into the health sector,” she said. “It is insufficient to deal with the number of cases, the numbers we see and the need to do the preventative work that is absolutely necessary to keep our people healthy and of course to keep them educate them to be able to manage their health well enough.”
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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