QEH to make healthy switch
THE Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) will be practising what it preaches.That is according to chief executive officer, Dexter James.He said the hospital was changing snack machine fare to facilitate “healthier” snacks, and felt the same should be done in schools.“Our board has recently taken a decision that as of the close of July, all the concessionaires who provide services at the hospital must change out all the vending machines to provide healthy snacks or we don’t want it. We had to take a conscious decision because we are a health institution and we have a responsibility to practise what we preach,” said James.He added that the QEH was developing policies to facilitate certain arrangements with the private sector and NGOs.“For example, it is our view that specialists must be given admitting privileges to use the facilities at the hospital. Our population sizes are too small to support over capacity and unnecessary implementation in technology which only serves to drive the cost of healthcare. When a consultant is not able to have access to facilities, they are forced to invest in plant and equipment that cannot be sustainable,” he said.James said the cardiac suite, to be located on the first floor of the Lions Eye Care Centre, was scheduled to be completed within 18 months.This, he added, was to be established as a modern, state-of-the-art facility.“The facility will include operating theatre and recovery rooms, enhance ECG capacity in a centralised area and a new state-of-the-art categorisation. Construction drawings are in progress, which are expected to be completed by July 31 this year.
The plans for this expanded floor space have been completed and we anticipate these facilities will be completed within 18 months.”Poor air quality had forced the closure of the eye care centre which resulted in the recommendation for a new air conditioning system in the entire building.In 2004, Government entered into financial arrangements with the European Union (EU) and various programmes to acquire technical assistance in critical areas, one of which was cardiovascular services. (MM)