Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan says the Ministry of Health has done a lot of work in 2012 but has even more projects planned for 2013. “I do not want to say my performance is ‘good’ work but I feel that I can do much better and our services can keep improving next year. We have a lot more to do,” he said in an interview yesterday.
On Saturday, in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Government and representatives of the Chinese Embassy and the Chinese Government signed an agreement for the provision of a concessional loan of approximately TT$900 million for the construction of the Children’s Hospital in Preysal, Couva.
In a separate ceremony on Saturday, Khan and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar also toured the San Fernando Teaching Hospital where the Prime Minster stated it will serve as a place to offer health care and teaching services. Khan said he was working with Udecott, Nipdec and the regional health authorities (RHAs) to develop a coherent infrastructure plan for the country’s health system.
He said on the customer service side, patients and the public were starting to see improvements. “We have been successful the service oriented side. People are saying now that the services in the hospitals are starting to come up to international standards because of the changes they are seeing,” he said. Next year he also wants to have health centres opened 24 hours.
“I am also developing the primary health sector. I will need to have primary health care doctors to achieve the goal to have these health care centres opened 24 hours,” he said. Apart from the San Fernando Teaching Hospital, he also wants to have other teaching hospitals established around the country.
“We want to turn Mount Hope into a teaching hospital, we are also looking at doing the same in Sangre Grande and the same thing done with the hospital in Tobago,” he said. He also spoke about “medical education” and developing the sector along with international best practice. “This is one of the big areas we want to develop. We want to attract offshore medical schools in the same way St George’s Medical University in Grenada and other similar institutions do it,” he said.