In preparation for the construction of a new Sangre Grande hospital, the Board of the Eastern Regional Health Authority (ERHA) has prepared a project brief to present to the Ministry of Health.
ERHA Chairman Esme Rawlins-Charles disclosed this on Wednesday at a public Board Meeting at the North Eastern Community Centre, Ojoe Road, Sangre Grande.
She said while they await the construction of the new facility, the current one was undergoing major infrastructural works. She said the present structure which was erected decades ago is now being refurbished to better accommodate the vast increase in services.
In addition to the refurbishment, the hospital is also getting new equipment.
“It has been recognised that CT scans services at the Sangre Grande hospital has been sporadic due to the breakdown of equipment. The equipment is dated, in this regard a project has been developed relevant to improvement in CT scans services at the hospital inclusive of the procurement of a new 16-slice CT scanner and refurbishment of the existing CT room.”
She also said they also intend to upgrade the dental equipment, acquire vaccine refrigerators, neo natal ventilators, and ambulances.
Rawlins-Charles said the Board recognised that the strength of the organisation was dependent on its human resource. She said they identified important human resource issues which had to be dealt with in order to facilitate the efficient operation of the ERHA.
She said the first item they looked at was security of tenure and the permanency exercise.
“This exercise has been resumed and to date 723 members of staff have been offered permanency.”
She said the ERHA was also faced with the issue of attracting and retaining medical professionals and as a result strategies were being devised to deal with the issue.
Rawlins-Charles said another challenge they faced was related to governance. She said under governance, they looked at policy and policy formation as many of their polices were dated. These included cash management, blacklisting, fraud and bribery and keys policies.
“We have discovered we have 15 centres, and we have realised you have to have a policy relating to what you do with those keys, especially on an evening and first thing in the morning because in those health centres we have drugs, equipment, so we have to ensure that the things stay where they are supposed to be and there is somebody who you can hold accountable."