Gov’t: $3M to fight Ebola not spent

Minister Osbourne Bodden, Dr. James Hospedales (third from right), and local health officials met in November 2015 to review the Ebola preparedness plans.

Remember the Ebola virus scare of 2014?

The Cayman Islands government apparently had some $3 million in available funds for the anticipated operating costs to fight the spread of the virus, if it arrived on these shores.

“Thankfully, the threat did not materialize and only $32,318.41 was disbursed to the Health Services Authority and utilized by the authority,” Premier Alden McLaughlin said.

The operating costs budgeted for the anticipated Ebola outbreak included $1.7 million to staff an inpatient facility at the public hospital including 17 nurses and four doctors, a premium charge of $100 per call for EMS response, and staff training.

An additional $1.3 million was set aside for the purchase of an eight-bed Ebola field hospital, which would have been set up in the hospital staff parking lot.

Had the $3 million in costs been incurred, Cabinet approved the use of the local Environmental Protection Fund to pay for it.

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