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Fuad plans to put CDAP in RHAs’ hands
The Chronic Disease Assistance Programme (CDAP) is being decentralised, Health Minister Fuad Khan has said. Khan was speaking with members of the media yesterday during his tour of the Physiotherapy Department at the St James Medical Complex. The programme provides patients with free prescription drugs and other pharmaceutical items.
“I am going to look at moving CDAP from Nipdec (the National Insurance Property Development Company) and put it in the hands of the regional health authorities to do their own purchasing, because CDAP and Nipdec do not seem to be working in the best interest of the health institutions,” he said. Nipdec manages the drug distribution system on behalf of the Ministry of Health.
Referring to prescription drugs for cancer patients, he said: “I am working with Dr Dillon Narinesingh to produce a formulary for cancer therapy drugs which will be taken off the list here and basic drugs on the formulary will be used here. In Canada and England those drugs are not used.” He said there are drugs on the formulary which are not being used. Khan also said a new hospital will be built in the western peninsula to bridge the distance between hospitals.
“The People’s Partnership is only here for three and a half years and the other people were there before,” said. Khan said in the east, the Arima Health Facility will soon be refurbished. He said the announcement of free service for members of the public at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in 2005 was one of the biggest mistakes made by former health minister John Rahael.
“You just don’t just snap your finger and open a tertiary-level centre. That’s why patchwork is now needed, because the EWMSC was to be a specialist area. Now it is a big general hospital and we are trying to increase bed space. “It was built for tertiary-level care. It went from a tertiary centre to a general hospital,” he said. On another note, Khan said doctors are applying to come back to T&T and there are discussions on remuneration.
He said more physical therapists were needed and there would be an opportunity for Costaatt to start training. “They interviewed a few doctors and nurses and the consultants and they have to make recommendations on who they will take. There were 700 people and we don’t need that much,” he said. Concerning the bird flu, H1N1, which is on high alert overseas, he said: “We have international health regulations and surveillance methods. Once it is reported they will send it through the system for active surveillance.”
Khan said the field in the grounds of the complex will be used for another building. “I have to have discussions with the staff so I could utilise the field to put a building there to house different areas such as surgical areas and rehabilitation areas. It is quite a big field. “The Jean Pierre is close for people to use for recreation.” But he added, “I have to talk with the staff first before I get a strike on my hands.”
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