Saturday 28 March, 2020

St Lucia to welcome US ship providing free health care

The Ministry of Health and Wellness in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs is coordinating a humanitarian mission visit by the United States Naval Ship Comfort from September 23 to October 2.

During its deployment, the USNS will also be visiting other Caribbean territories such as Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Saint Kitts, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Haiti.

The ship will be berthed at Port Castries and two walk in clinics will be set up at the OKEU hospital and one other site to provide general clinical services. All services are provided free of charge and are available for all who would need care. There is no pre-registration necessary for the clinics. The team has indicated that up to 500 persons can be seen at each clinic.

The general services provided includes basic medical evaluation and treatment, preventive medicine, dental screenings and treatments, optometry screenings and eye wear distribution, internal medicine, paediatrics, dermatology, women’s health, physical therapy and provision of medication as needed.

The USNS ship hospital will be providing diagnostic services and surgical care. The services provided are at US quality of care standards. The ship has the capacity of 100 admission beds and 30 ICU beds. The diagnostic procedures include CT scan, Ultrasounds, X-Ray, Echocardiogram, laparoscopy, Blood, stool and urine testing. A wide range of minor surgical procedures will also be available.

The diagnostic and surgical procedures have to be pre-scheduled. The request from a local doctor is needed for diagnostic procedures and a referral from a physician is needed for surgical procedures.

Local medical health professionals will be working with the US medical teams during this mission. The medical staff from the USNS will also be following the requirements for local health professional registration bodies.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness is grateful for this opportunity for care for our people. All are encouraged to make full use of this opportunity.

For further information contact Dr. Sharon Belmar- George, Medical Officer of Health at the Ministry of Health and Wellness at 468-5386, 468-5309, 468-5310.

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