THE North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) announced the launch of three new heart clinics last month, as it aggressively intensifies its clinical programme against non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The clinics are being operated at the St Joseph Enhanced Centre, Chaguanas District Health Facility and the Arima District Health Facility. In a release yesterday, the NCRHA said the clinics were commissioned at these health centres in an effort to boost capacity, improve patient convenience and decentralise primary medical care at the cardiology clinic at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC).
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh welcomed this initiative because the growing impact of NCDs on the economy and society is expected to intensify as the population gets older. Deyalsingh said these projects have already resulted in the screening of more than 5,000 people by doctors. He said the addition of these clinics, "will significantly extend this reach even more into our communities where more work is needed."
NCRHA chairman Steve De Las said the Authority has been networking with religious organisations and other institutions to provide on site screening. De Las said the NCRHA's "In Touch" outreach programme, takes the service home to critical patients. NCRHA general manager (primary care services) Dr Abdul Hamid said these clinics make it easier for doctors to spend more time with their patients, as they will be closer to the communities that they serve. Hamid said over time, the clinic at the EWMSC will be able to focus on tertiary level critically-ill patients who can receive more specialised attention from doctors.
The new clinics will simultaneously reduce the volume of patients being treated at the EWMSC's clinic. The World Health Organisation said NCDs accounted for 80 percent of deaths in TT in 2014. The schedule for the clinics are as follows- St Joseph Enhanced Centre, Mondays, 8 am to noon; Chaguanas District Health Facility, Tuesdays, 8 am to noon and Arima District Facility, 8 am to noon.