Finance Minister Dr. Irving McIntyre has said that the Government of Dominica is on a journey to promote the health and wellness of its citizens and residents.
He made the disclosure during his presentation of the 2023-2024 Budget at the Third Meeting of the First Session of the Eleventh Parliament on Tuesday.
“As it relates to health, the government is on a journey to promote the health and wellness of our citizens and residents,” he said. “It is a journey that has witnessed the completion of two hospitals, several health and wellness centres; the commissioning of new state-of-the-art equipment to improve and expand health services available in the country; the establishment of the Dominica Hospitals Authority; and the ongoing training of our patient care providers.”
He continued, “All of these make more specialized and improved care available to the public.”
Dr. McIntyre added, “There is no one who can dispute the fact that Dominica’s health system is far better now than it has ever been.”
He stated that one can now receive care at a hospital that is equivalent to that of developed countries.
“In Dominica, our main hospital has seven operating theatres, a state-of-the-art Emergency Room with its own operating theatre, a special Eye Centre, modern and private rooms for patients, an intensive care unit with isolation rooms, a fully equipped diagnostic department with modern diagnostic equipment, a cardiovascular imaging centre and telemedicine centre, plus a fully equipped laboratory which allow us to greatly expand our testing capacity,” McIntyre stated.
In addition, he mentioned that the government has invested significant amounts to build its human resources in health.
“We have many more specialists than we ever had before,” he revealed. “These specialists along with the state-of-the-art hospital and equipment have allowed an expansion of health services in the country, thus allowing us to avoid, in many instances, the cost and inconvenience of having to travel abroad for treatment.”
Meanwhile, Dr. McIntyre pointed out that the government has taken note of some concerns expressed by the public about their experience with the healthcare system and will continue to work on the following this year,
“One: Improving patient care, and patient and family experience at our health and wellness centres, and hospitals. This will include the enactment of five bills that will, among other things, govern and guide the operations and practice of our medical practitioners namely the Medical Profession Bill, the Pharmacy Bill, the Nursing Profession Bill, the Medical Laboratory Bill and the Digital Health Bill,” he revealed. “Two: Patient outcomes in terms of their results after being treated at our hospitals, and three: The welfare and wellbeing of nurses, doctors, and staff at our hospitals and health and wellness centres.”
He said the health and wellness of citizens is one of the priorities of this government.
“To ensure wellness we must engage in preventive behaviours and practice healthy habits,” he noted.
Dr. McIntyre went on to state that the National Reset also requires people to take better care of themselves to help reduce the high incidence of non-communicable diseases, such as, diabetes, hypertension, cancer and cardiac disease. These diseases impact family life, livelihoods, productivity and by extension, the country.
He indicated that the government has also been investing in sports to promote the health and wellness of our people, foster community engagement, and help advance our people.
“We have long recognized and positioned sports as an integral means to human advancement, and a vital enabler of sustainable development,” he noted.