Government is engaging the three universities here, which teach and train future medical practitioners.
This was disclosed by Minister of Health and Wellness Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic who was speaking during a Facebook live session called The National Response to COVID-19 hosted by the Barbados Government Information Service.
Bostic was questioned about Government’s ability to handle COVID-19 patients given the current number of medical professionals on Government’s payroll.
“Human resources is of course one of the issues that we have some concerns with because in order to maintain the high quality health care that we have been providing and then to deal with the virus, then we have to have some additional resources and so we are making plans in the event that we have to seek resources from elsewhere.”
The minister said: “Only today, for example, I would have met with officials from Ross University School of Medicine, the American University of Barbados and the intent is also to meet with the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus Medical personnel to see what resources and what assistance we can get from those sources. We are also looking at persons who are retired. We have had some of them volunteering to come and assist us and the private sector as well also has an important role to play in this regard.”
Bostic said he believed the resources were adequate but pointed out he could not know for sure given the uncertainty of the virus.
“I believe that we are fairly well covered in terms of human resources but of course we don’t know how widespread this thing is going to go and we are placing a lot of emphasis first of all on early detection through enhanced surveillance and if the bug still gets in then it is containment. Containment is the key and we intend to contain the spread of the virus if it arrives here,” the Minister said.
The Health Minister pointed out that the plan was always to have separate and distinct operations in managing COVID-19 so as not to compromise the entire health-care system.
“We have been working feverishly at ensuring we have those [personnel] because one of the things we decided very, very early is that we wanted to isolate the virus from the remainder of the health-care system. So, we don’t want to have any situation with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for example or our Geriatric hospitals become compromised as a result of the virus.
“We have really taken the precautions and spent the money to ensure that we have facilities away from our major institutions to be able to deal with the arrival of the virus,” Bostic said. (IMC)
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