Governor Ric Todd from Turks and Caicos marks Grand Turk hospital third anniversary

Governor marks Grand Turk hospital third anniversary
Published on April 15, 2013

On Wednesday, Governor Ric Todd visited the Cockburn Town Medical Centre in Grand Turk to mark the third anniversary of his predecessor, Gordon Wetherell, officially opening the facility three years ago.

The governor was accompanied throughout his visit by Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) government permanent secretary in the ministry of health, Desiree Lewis. They were joined on their visit by director of health services, Dr Nadia Astwood, InterHealth’s CEO Jill Magri, Cockburn Town Medical Center hospital administrator Dr Denise Braithwaite, engineer Donald Wilson and internist Dr Ravindra.

Todd heard how over the past three years the hospital has treated: 86,810 accident and emergency visits; 5,914 inpatient admissions; 141,375 outpatient visit; 1,462 inpatient and 1,948 day surgeries.

Some of the benefits and improvements of the new hospital over its predecessor include:

• The cost of overseas treatment has fallen from $60m to $10m each year.

• The ability to deliver local orthopedic services with an in-house surgeon, reducing overseas costs; as well as oncology services and reconstructive plastic surgery services.

• An improved international reputation – the hospital was quoted in a major meeting in Trinidad and Tobago last summer as an example of excellence, and awarded Diamond Accreditation by Accreditation Canada.

• A first class diagnostics service, enabling better diagnosis and, where patient required overseas transfer, the provision of clinical information / images essential for the receiving centre. There was no on-island radiologist or pathologist prior to the opening of the hospital.

• Development of locally provided urology services using the skills of a UK trained practitioner with a strong regional reputation.

• High patient satisfaction levels.

• The hospitals’ teleconference capabilities support Ministry of Health work between the TCI islands.

“While the challenges of the cost of healthcare provision are a challenge to governments all over the world, today was an occasion to pause and reflect on how much healthcare has improved here in the TCI in recent times,” said Todd. “What I saw today were happy, satisfied patients and caring, hard working health professionals doing a great job.”

Lewis also explained to the governor the TCI government’s plans for the development of long term care and hospice facilities, which would release the Wellness Centre, located on the site of the previous hospital, to be developed for other uses such as psychiatry. Other developments under discussion include: expanding ophthalmology, mammography, echocardiography, neurophysiology, blood donor and transfusion facilities as well as looking to build a medical tourism offering.

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