Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh yesterday said in 2018, one month would be dedicated to cataract surgeries throughout all regional health authorities.
Deyalsingh made the announcement at a press conference on the “Surgical Sundays” programme held at the Eric Williams Medical Science Complex, Mt Hope.
“The next big thing we are going to launch is to dedicate one month next year between April, May or June to cataract surgeries, where we are going for once and for all deal with the issue of backlogs of cataract surgeries in Trinidad and Tobago. I have floated this idea to all the RHAs and they are absolutely enthusiastic. Our doctors and nurses are now fully behind us in performing surgeries in the public health care sector.”
Deyalsingh said 50 people have benefitted so far, and have gotten an early Christmas present through some of the new developments in the public health care programmes at EWMSC.
He said this Sunday of “Surgical Sundays” will be the last run for the year, and the programme will resume in January 2018.
“What we have done at Eric Williams Medical Science Complex is dedicate every other Sunday to something called Surgical Sundays and today we are here to celebrate our third run of the programme. It started a month ago, where staff of Eric Williams who would normally be at home with their families are now coming out to work on a Sunday using the downtime of four operating theatres which will normally be unused on a Sunday to start to clear up a back log of hernia operations.”
“Patients who have been on a waiting list for these types of selective surgeries are now getting relief. It builds the capacity of EWMSC to become a centre of excellence. What this means, if we can perform these surgeries on a Sunday, we can now perform more surgeries during the week dedicated to serious selected surgeries and emergency surgeries. Utilising theatre and manpower resources on a Sunday we are now freed-up at Eric Williams to use all those resources Monday to Saturday for other types of surgeries.
“As we try to turn around the public health sector, I want to thank all the doctors, nurses, and workers who are rallying behind the Ministry of Health to do right-by the citizens of TT. ”
Meanwhile, EWMSC Acting Medical Chief of Staff Dr Malachy Ojuro said the new initiative “Surgical Sundays” is initially focused on hernia surgeries, other types of procedures will be considered over time as they move to reduce the backlog of cases to more manageable levels.
Ojuro said the initiative resulted in 18 surgeries being conducted on 16 patients a month ago and another 15 patients benefitted on November 25. He said all procedures were successfully performed by the local medical team at the EWMSC. “The system worked well because we screened the most appropriate medical cases for this type of surgery, so they can return to their love ones on the same day of the procedure.”