The North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) is continuing to be a major source of health care in this country, with the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) in Mt Hope, seeing over 100,000 patients in 2015, nearly twice the number of admissions received by other hospitals.
However, the institution is reporting a 57 percent reduction in congestion and waiting time for patients to access beds and emergency services from the hospital. This was reported by chief executive officer Davlin Thomas during the NCRHA’s public board meeting on Thursday afternoon at the Eric Williams Auditorium, La Joya Complex, St Joseph.
The facility has also seen a downward trend in the number of emergency room visits, particularly from patients suffering from critical non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiac disease as a result of its successful community outreach programmes “Walk The Talk” and “In-Touch.
“These two programs have been very effective at providing early screenings, so persons who are at risk of developing NCDs can be treated early – and often in their homes, to prevent them from appearing in the emergency room in the future, when their disease becomes critical,” Thomas said.
During his presentation, Thomas said that the Walk the Talk Programme, conducted in collaboration with the community’s faith based institutions, has resulted in the early screenings of 5,638 patients since December 2016 and more than 3,723 patients being immunised from major illnesses.
He said the In-Touch programme targeted critical non-communicable diseases (NCD) patients by providing world classed screening and treatments by a medical doctor in their homes. The NCRHA’s medical teams have already screened and treated an additional 81 persons under the In-Touch Program, with more than 119 scheduled home visits.
Thomas said despite the growing population and confidence in the EWMSC as a major medical centre, these programmes have already shown success by turning around the number of emergency room visits and thus reducing congestion at the hospitals.
He noted that EWMSC has recorded a number of successes in addressing critical illnesses in Trinidad and Tobago. These included performing 360 open heart surgeries last year with a mortality rate of just 1.5 percent. This performance exceeded internationals standards,” Thomas added.
The meeting also included discussions on the NCRHA’s performance for the last period and an overview of the authority’s plans, goals and targets for continued growth and progress for the upcoming fiscal year 2017/18.
The NCRHA has also undertaken systematic changes to improve the delivery of health services to patients which included infrastructural upgrades at the Mount Hope Women’s Hospital, the opening of the Women’s Colposcopy Centre & Outpatient Clinics and the establishment of an NCRHA Incident Response Team.
There was also the implementation of a Schools’ Health Programme, establishment of an Adolescent Mental Health Clinic, upgrades to the electrical system, opening of the cardiology clinic and the endoscopy suite.