In light of the covid19 pandemic in the country, temporary changes in services offered at the Port of Spain General Hospital (POSGH) have been put in place.
In a release on March 15, the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) said the measures put in place will be in effect from March 16, until further notice.
When Newsday visited the St James Medical Complex at around 1.30 pm, it was very quiet at the Accident and Emergency Department.
At other departments on the complex, small groups of patients were seen sitting in the waiting areas.
The NWRHA said all patients with fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath, will be screened in a separate area, outside the Accident and Emergency Department.
However, the NWRHA said patients with fever and mild respiratory symptoms and recent travel or was in contact with a confirmed covid19 positive case are advised to contact their district health centres. Patients are encouraged to call first before showing up at any health facility.
The NWRHA said all patients requiring medication refills or have prescriptions due to expire within the next week can attend their clinics on their designated clinic days and a prescription re-write would be facilitated.
However, patients who have respiratory symptoms and patients over the age of 60 are discouraged from going to hospital clinics and are to instead have a relative visit the hospital with their national identification card with the patient clinic card and expiring prescription, to have the refill completed.
“For surgical, neurosurgery, orthopaedics, urology, plastics, ENT and ophthalmology (eyes) clinics, patients who recently had surgery and those requiring dressings will be seen.
“Screening for all other patients will be done over the telephone and they will be contacted to have their clinic appointments rescheduled as needed.”
The NWRHA said the medical, neurology, cardiology, gastroenterology, dermatology, nephrology, gynaecology and NICU clinics will be closed. However, only urgent cases will be seen
Screening for all other patients will be done over the telephone.
“They (patients) will be contacted to have their clinic appointments rescheduled as needed. Haematology clinics for routine visits will be closed. Patients due for chemotherapy, factor eight therapy and transfusions will keep their appointments as usual.
“Obstetrics patients coming to clinic will be screened prior to entrance into the clinics.”
The NWRHA said for all echocardiograms, endoscopies and infusion services at the Endoscopy Department, screening for appointments will be done by telephone and patients with respiratory symptoms or recent travel will have their appointments rescheduled.
General surgery and other surgical sub-specialties including ENT/ Maxillofacial/ Eyes, urgent cases already seen by hospital team will be contacted for scheduling.
Cases already booked for St James Medical Complex will continue as usual.
The NWRHA said radiology services appointments will be prioritised based on urgency.
Members of the public were asked to contact the PoSGH at (868) 285-8989 for more information if needed.