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Surgical Sunday cuts 50 patients from waiting list

Published: 
Monday, December 11, 2017
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh meets with three patients who had surgeries on Surgery Sunday at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex yesterday.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh is hoping to address a backlog of some 250 patients who are on a waiting list to have surgery for hernias on Surgical Sundays.

So far 31 members of the public who needed surgery for hernias have benefited from the programme and an additional 20 persons were scheduled for surgery yesterday.

The initiative, which started on November 12, will utilise four operating theatres by four teams of surgeons at the Eric Williams Medical Science Complex every other Sunday to address the backlog of urgent surgeries.

At a press conference yesterday at the EWMSC, Deyalsingh met with four patients who had the surgery.

Dr Malachy Ojuro, acting Medical Chief of Staff at the EWMSC, said the new initiative called Surgical Sundays, would be performed every two weeks on Sundays when the operation theatres are free.

“The surgical team will initially focus on hernia surgeries, but other types of procedures will be considered over time as we move to reduce the backlog of cases to more manageable levels,” he said.

Ojuro said the initiative resulted in 18 surgeries being conducted on 16 patients a month ago and another 15 patients benefited two weeks later on Sunday November 25. All the procedures were successfully performed by the all-local medical teams at the EWMSC.

“The procedures were completed using the model developed by the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) in the recently concluded Operation Walk project in October, where more than 50 surgical procedures were performed in just three days,” he said.

Deyalsingh said such initiatives were important because it addressed many challenges facing the healthcare system and across the world by empowering the RHAs to deliver more for our citizens from the resources we have available.

“This project will expand the number of tertiary level services offered to citizens and has positioned the NCRHA and the EWMSC as the leading centre for specialised medical solutions in T&T. The success rate of this surgery team also reflects the growing confidence of our medical professionals and their competence to meet and surpass international standards,” he said.

Davlin Thomas, acting chief executive officer at the NCRHA, said the project which will be conducted every two weeks, is part of a plan to institutionalise and further expand the number and types of surgeries being performed by the EWMSC.

“When we bring down the backlog for hernias to more manageable levels, we will look at other procedures with extended waiting lists. Additionally, the NCRHA will be doing its part to continually improve our system so we can accommodate important projects such as Surgical Sundays that provide opportunities for our doctors to make a tangible difference in the lives of our patients,” he said.