US doctor advises need for local respiratory specialists

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A US-based doctor is advising the government to add an allergist and pulmonologist to improve the care and treatment offered by

its national health care system.

Dr Nina C Ramirez, who specialises in that field and who practices in Florida, said it is critical that residents and visitors can have their breathing issues remedied, once properly diagnosed.

“I think it is absolutely crucial that you have this extension in your health care system to identify and address respiratory illnesses that can be treated and potentially prevented. I would welcome an opportunity to discuss this with your health minister,” she told OBSERVER media.

A check with the Antigua & Barbuda Medical Council revealed that there are no allergists or pulmonologists in the country.

The medical doctor said asthma should not be the determining factor for patients with respiratory problems to get access to fast acting inhalers, that can save lives.

“Not all that wheezes is asthma and sometimes these chronic coughs and bronchitis can be easily remedied by the same types of medication in patients who have been diagnosed with asthma. One does not have to suffer and have these chronic ailments persist,” the doctor said.

Dr Ramirez also said people living in and around neighbouring Montserrat should try to protect themselves from illnesses brought on by volcanic ash.

More in today’s Daily Observer.

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