Fri | Aug 18, 2017

UHWI cancels all major surgeries

Published:Thursday | January 5, 2017 | 1:00 AMSyranno Baines
Guest speaker James Moss-Solomon (left), chairman of the University Hospital of the West Indies, speaks to (from second left) Errol Lee, district governor of the Lions Club of Kingston; Paul Robinson, president of the club; and Desmon Brown, zone chairman, at the monthly meeting of the Lions Club of Kingston at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston yesterday.

All major surgeries at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) have been cancelled due to an inadequate number of critical-care nurses and operational theatres.

This was disclosed by the chairman of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) board, James Moss-Solomon, at the monthly meeting of the Lions Club of Kingston at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel yesterday.

Moss-Solomon cited the popular practice of developed countries issuing visas to specialist nurses prior to graduation.

"We have doubled training for specialist nurses in 2016, and before the courses are complete, 50 per cent of them are already employed. It doesn't matter how many millions of dollars we care to put on a bonding system, USA, Canada, and UK, to a lesser extent, are quite happy to pay it off."

He added: "We're cooperating with the Ministry of Health in bringing down the backlog, but it's difficult, under the current circumstances, where we get the equipment working and have things ready to go and we simply don't have enough specialist staff to keep up with the number of operations we are able and willing to perform."

In reflecting on the workload of the UHWI in 2016, Moss-Solomon said that 15,350 patients were admitted; outpatients totalled 92,460; emergency medicine visits, 47,987; surgeries in main operating theatres, 3,411; surgeries in minor operating theatres, 2,474; C-sections, 548. Births were 1,302.

Outlining the plans for 2017, Moss-Solomon said that six major objectives were geared at improving the overall health-care experience for patients and bringing the UHWI up to world-class health standards.

These steps include extending surgical hours to the maximum and also extending pharmacies and radiology to 24-hour operations.