The country’s main public hospital – the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC) – is “coping well” despite the sharp rise in COVID-related hospitalizations over the past few weeks.
That is the assessment of Medical Director at MSJMC, Dr. Albert Duncan, who reported that currently there are forty persons hospitalized with COVID-19-related illness being treated at both the MSJMC and the Infectious Disease Centre (IDC) at the Holberton Hospital.
“We have the capacity to treat up to sixty-seven patients between the IDC and MSJMC, so while we are feeling some strain we are not doing too badly at the moment,” the Medical Director remarked.
He indicated that a secondary facility is being prepared at the former US Naval Facility to house additional patients should this become necessary. The Medical Director said if the number of people requiring hospitalization continues to rise then that facility will be brought on stream to accommodate the over-spill.
According to Dr. Duncan, the biggest issue facing the hospital is adequate nursing staff to properly provide care for the patients. He revealed that the hospital has had to cope with a higher than usual number of sick leaves submitted by nurses, causing issues with the deployment of these critical medical personnel in this time of crisis.
In the post-Cabinet press conference on Monday, Information Minister Melford Nicholas said the issue of nursing shortage has been raised at Cabinet and there have been suggestions to approach the Cuban government for assistance by providing nurses to buttress the current situation.
There are also talks that overtures have been made to the Indian government for a supply of nurses to assist the healthcare system, but Dr. Duncan said while he too has heard of the suggestion, he has no confirmation of this matter.