Retired doctors and nurses and members of the private sector healthcare system will be asked to assist with the national COVID-19 response.
In a press briefing over the weekend, Minister of Health and Wellness Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic said given the nature of the COVID-19 virus, level of spread, and degree of uncertainty, Government would be taking no chances and therefore will be calling on all Barbadians who can assist with the provision of healthcare services.
The Minister said this was the approach his ministry intended to take in the near future, given the uncertainties surrounding the impact of the dilemma on the nation. With Barbados having recorded 17 COVID-19 cases on the island thus far, the country is now in phase two of the pandemic.
“We are going to be calling on retired nurses and doctors, private sector nurses and doctors, people who might have done nursing assistant courses and so on. There is a role for everyone in this process; even retired policemen for example to assist us with the contact tracing.
“We are utilising and calling on all Barbadians who are willing to volunteer their services to us because we do not know exactly how far this will go and we intend to be able to cover all eventualities,” Bostic said.
He also indicated that despite the ongoing changes in the healthcare environment, Government’s plan to bring specialised nurses from Ghana was still a go.
During the briefing at Ilaro Court on Saturday evening, Bostic urged Barbadians to continue to have confidence in the public health system. He said though he has only been Minister for the past two years, he has great confidence in the capacity and the ability of the public healthcare sector.
“The sector is strong. We have people who can get the job done. I will say to Barbadians that naturally the numbers will continue to rise but that is primarily because of the work that has to be done and is being done by public health officials to ensure that we get all of those persons that might have had direct contact with confirmed cases, or persons who might have been exposed so that we can manage the situation.
“The escalation will continue for a bit ,but the time will come when we will be able to contain this situation. I can say of Barbadians to continue to remain calm, follow the instructions of public health officials,” he said.
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