The Leguan Cottage Hospital and Parika Health Centre are expected to have fully functional x-ray departments by the end of the year, GINA said on Monday.
Public Health Minister Dr George Norton recently visited the two facilities to observe the progress of the works done. GINA said that the Parika Health Centre’s facility is 95 percent completed but much more work has to be done at the Leguan Cottage Hospital.
At Parika, GINA said that the installation of lead glass, a hatch and air condition units are all that remain to be done. However, sourcing the glass is expected to take roughly two months. The x-ray service will become available shortly after installation of other parts once they are obtained, Regional Health Officer, Dr Shawn Bancroft explained. There are already trained technicians to man the facility once it is operating.
GINA said that Dr Norton took his officers to task for failing to ensure the functioning of the x-ray department at Leguan sooner. When the minister visited the hospital over the weekend, the x-ray machine was still in the crate in which it came.
Dr Norton said it was unacceptable that the department remains non-functioning five years after receiving an x-ray machine. “I can’t understand why was such a machine [would be] allowed to just lay up in the corner,” he said. He added too, “I don’t think it was a shortage of cash, it wasn’t a shortage of labour or anything like that. It’s just that I think the will to get it done.”
The Public Health Minister urged the regional officials to have the x-ray department at the Leguan Cottage Hospital functioning as soon as possible.
GINA said that the regional officials who accompanied the minister on the visit were unable to say exactly when the machine will become functional since they are still to determine if it works and what other parts are needed.
The building to house the unit also has to undergo extensive modifications before it can serve as intended. The door needs to be lined with lead, the walls need to be bolstered against radiation and a protective barrier needs to be created for the x-ray machine’s control panel among other things, Donna Bowman, Principal Radiographer at the Ministry of Public Health explained.