The St. Joseph Mercy Hospital is reporting a sharp increase in the number of Cuban nationals who are utilising its laboratory services in order to fulfil the requirements for processing of United States immigrant visa applications and assures that it has risen to the challenge.
According to a feature article prepared by the hospital, the US has relaxed its position on visitors and immigrants from Cuba, and has decided to transfer the processing of visa applications for Cubans from Colombia to Guyana. This along with the fact that the hospital is the only medical institution in Guyana approved by the US Embassy to provide laborarory services has resulted in an influx at the medical institution.
The only two doctors certified by the United States’ Immigration Board operate out of the hospital.
“The 73-year-old hospital has risen to the challenge of living up to the trust of the US Immigration Service to provide professional medical screenings to facilitate their scrupulous system of visa-processing,” the hospital said.
To make moving around easier for the Cubans, signage written in Spanish will be placed around the building and other parts of the compound.
The hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Enoch Gaskin is reported as saying that the Cubans are being treated like any other persons who visit to access the hospital’s services. “If there are any perceptions that the Cubans are getting special treatment or that the hospital has to do something different for Cubans, the answer is no,” he was quoted as saying before going on to stress that the standard policy of the hospital’s staff is to maintain sustained, high-quality professional service for everyone.
He said, too, that the hospital sees the influx as a normal day’s work. “We can accept way more than the total numbers you see and dispense with them in the same professional manner in which we are dealing with our regular clients,” he added.
The hospital has been conducting these medicals for years on behalf of the US embassy, which conducts a comprehensive annual audit of the hospital once a year.
The award winning Guyana Laboratory Department is fully certified by the Guyana National Bureau of Standards, the hospital also noted.