Health Minister checks up on Sister Islands

Emergency services in Cayman Brac recently got a boost with the arrival of a new ambulance.

The vehicle was on view during a tour of the Sister Islands’ health service facilities by Health Minister Anthony Eden and other top health and ministry officials, said a GIS press release.

Faith Hospital’s surgeon Dr. Srirangan Velusamy reported good news in the facility’s progress and noted that the hospital had diagnosed and treated several cases of cancer.

He added that the operating theatre now included a state-of-the-art laparoscope, allowing keyhole surgery and other delicate procedures and diagnoses.

Staff and patients are also pleased to have a resident female obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr. Venkamma Bonigi, the release said.

Dr. Bonigi told the visitors that nine babies were delivered in 2004 and 11 so far this year. Her section’s only pressing need is a new incubator.

A new 3D colour ultrasound machine is now in use.

Treatment space in the accident and emergency section has doubled and the pharmacy has significantly expanded in size and function, the release said.

The arrival of a hearse is expected soon.

With two weekly visits by mental health nurse Dympna Carten, quality mental health service is also provided. The only other need expressed to the Minister is for the drug counsellor position to be filled, the release said.

One ongoing matter facing the Faith Hospital involves the arrival of a new dialysis machine, which is still pending. Preparatory work has been completed and a nurse is in training for its use. The equipment will benefit some diabetic patients who currently have to travel to Grand Cayman for treatment.

In spite of the small population, Minister Eden heard that Little Cayman’s health services have been greatly enhanced in recent times. The island now boasts its first paramedic, Mr. Andrew Baron, who has been there for several weeks.

There are also regular visits from dentist Dr. Maurice McDonald and assistant Jennifer Dixon as well as by mental health professionals..

The current staff doctor, Dr. Grace Robinson, visits Little Cayman twice weekly and resident nurse Mary Ellen Cutts treats some eight to 10 patients daily.

Though small, the health centre has two examination rooms and a dental clinic. The ambulance previously used by Faith Hospital is being refurbished for use on Little Cayman, which has receives 10 to 20 emergency calls each month. A new EKG machine will soon be added to existing equipment.

Joining Mr. Eden on the tour were Permanent Secretary Andrea Bryan, Deputy Permanent Secretary Diane Montoya, Administrative Officer II Satina DaCosta, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar and Acting CEO of the HSA Mrs. Shirline Henriques.

Brac officials who hosted the tour included Acting Medical Officer in charge Dr. Velusamy, Senior Nursing Officer Carol Sue Ryan, District Commissioner Kenny Ryan and MLA Moses Kirkconnell.

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