SERHA installs GI Endoscopy Units at Spanish Town and Kingston Public Hospitals
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The South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) is proud to announce that two state-of-the-art Gastrointestinal (GI) Endoscopic Units valued at over $32 million have been installed at the Kingston Public and Spanish Town Hospitals.
One machine will be added to the Gastrointestinal Unit at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), while the other will be used to establish an Endoscopy Unit at the Spanish Town Hospital.
Chairman of the SERHA Board, Mr. Lyttleton Shirley, said both machines were purchased through the Region’s partnership with the National Health Fund (NHF) and CHASE. He further noted that the purchase of the equipment was just one of the many initiatives employed by the Region to upgrade the services offered in its health facilities as part of the mandate by the Ministry of Health to fully support the removal of user fees.
“We believe that installing these units in two of our major institutions is relevant at this time given the number of patients affected by gastrointestinal illnesses, most of whom have to be referred to the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) from KPH because the equipment has exhausted its years of use and had become non functional,” he said. “Therefore, I am particularly pleased, that in addition to the endoscopic services offered at KPH, Spanish Town Hospital will also be offering endoscopic services to alleviate the overwhelming demand for endoscopic procedures.”
Both units are equipped to deliver a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures. Some of the procedures that will be performed in both units include therapeutic and diagnostic bronchoscopy ( a technique of visualizing the inside of the airways for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes), colonoscopy (examines the colon and rectum) and biopsies in the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract.
Dr. Naydene Williams, Head of Internal Medicine at the KPH, said currently, approximately four to seven patients are treated weekly through the UHWI. However, the new equipment will not only allow for the procedures to be done at KPH, but will also increase the number of procedures which can be done daily.
“With the new system we can do four to seven patients daily at KPH and we can potentially diagnose and treat a greater number of patients weekly,” she said.
She also noted that her department will be able to drastically improve the overall quality of medical care offered to patients as it relates to diagnosis and treatment.
“Diseases can now be detected earlier,” she said, adding that further training of endoscopists and endoscopy nurses will also take place.
Meantime, Dr. Ediel Brown, Senior Medical Officer at the Spanish Town Hospital said the installation of endoscopy equipment at the hospital signifies a paradigm shift as this is the first time in the history of the hospital that these services will be offered to the residents of St. Catherine and its environs.
“Our patients here in St. Catherine will no longer have to traverse to Kingston to have their procedures done and so this unit will drastically reduce the patient load at the KPH and UHWI.”
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