Restructuring of the operations of the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) to deal with challenges and accountability in delivering quality health care. Attempts would also be made to seek means of revenue generation to fund the TRHA.
So said Health Secretary Dr Agatha Carrington last Thursday during her contribution to debate on a motion for the Assembly legislature to accept Executive Council measures to manage Tobago’s affairs for fiscal 2019 given a $2.2 billion allocation from the national budget.
“We commit to providing greater support towards health promotion and disease prevention. The Tobago Regional Health Authority continues to be challenged in various areas, principally through the operational model by which it works and therefore we intend to review and realign this as a matter of urgency,” Carrington said.
She noted other plans fby the Division of Health for 2019 including decentralisation of healthcare delivery, promotion of health and wellness consistent with the Non-Communicable Disease Plan of 2017/2020, and upgrade of infrastructure/construction of health facilities.
Allocations for recurrent expenditure for the Division for 2019 is $328.6 million while its development budget was given ad $22.4 million.
Carrington said the Moriah Health Centre would be procured for $28 million and delivered within an 18-month period, with construction to start on November 2018.
“In addition to which, we would refurbish the Roxborough Health Centre, the existing one - $2.4 million to be spent on that,” she said, adding that repairs were expected in this fiscal period.
She spoke of extended hours of service for non-emergency care at the Canaan, Roxborough and Scarborough health centres, with a “promise to extend the hours further in Roxborough depending on the additional funds promised and that would go for 24 hours
Carrington said that a Non-Communicable Disease registry has been established, a display of which will be hosted on December 14.
“Data continues to guide our decision making and therefore, we’ve established a new and necessary outpatient service in the stroke and diabetes centre as well as the foot and ankle centre. This service is much needed, our population has started to benefit from that. This is an area that we had approval for the 2017 and we delivered in 2018.”
She noted that a professional experienced specialist medical officer has been hired to provide clinical oversight for the Emergency room at the Scarborough general Hospital and that a Research Ethics Committee was “actively at work and their work and existence is critical to the Scarborough General Hospital being approved as a teaching hospital.”
Carrington said the Division was proceeding to improve its public health awareness, surveillance and waste management and vector control. systems.
“We would continue training our food handlers, we would continue our surveillance of our NCDs in collaboration with the Tobago Regional Health Authority, we are going to participate in health tourism projects and with respect to waste management, the Studley Park facility… that facility for staff is in disrepair.
“A contract has already been awarded for the upgrade of this facility such that all staff would be much more comfortable. In addition to which, we would establish a new waste disposal cell to compact the waste. This is much needed at the present time and we would repair some of the heavy equipment that is at the landfill site at present,” she said.