The Arima general hospital will be operationalised on a phased basis, beginning on Monday next week.
North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) CEO Davlin Thomas said the facility, which was opened on Tuesday, will be fully operational within one month.
He said in-patient services would begin next week. These would include supporting services such as the pharmacy and laboratories. Some patients from the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) would be transferred to the hospital. In the following weeks, same-day surgeries and cataract surgeries would begin, while haemodialysis would begin in the third week. Some of the services from the Arima district health facility, particularly the emergency services aspect, will then be transferred to the hospital.
Thomas said the new facility will be the flagship of a different model of healthcare which would be people-centered. As an example, he said haemodialysis would be offered over a 24-hour period so people could come in overnight to do their procedures. Clinics, which normally end around 3 or 4 pm, would now end at night, so that people can leave work and go to a clinic. He said these and other initiatives would start a new culture and expectation of healthcare.
Thomas said while the EWMSC will focus on tertiary services, it will continue to facilitate some secondary services, since the Arima hospital has 150 beds to the EWMSC’s 500.
“The way it will work is that once we start providing alternative or parallel services at the Arima hospital, for medicine, cardiology, etc, the bulk of the patients who may have been at Eric Williams are now going to be in Arima.
During the hospital’s opening ceremony on Tuesday, the Prime Minister said the EWMSC would become a centre for tertiary services. Thomas said part of this initiative is the idea of empowering innovation and disruption.
“A lot of those less complex things will be moved out of EWMSC and we’ll be focusing on them at Arima and some of the other hospitals that we have. It’s going to be an exciting time and we’re looking forward to it.”
The hospital boasts of a state-of-the-art accident and emergency department, a pharmacy, a fully operational laboratory, psychiatry and outpatient services, including radiology and physiotherapy. It has 150 beds, 227 parking spaces, and is equipped with 100 per cent generator backup, including fuel storage for 72 hours and 96 hours of on-site water storage.