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Mobile medical facility launched

CARLOS ATWELL, [email protected]

Mobile medical facility launched

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Interviews are under way for doctors interested in manning the new Level 1 field medical facility designed to operate after national disasters.

The mobile facility, the first in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, was officially launched on Wednesday on the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s (QEH) Sports Club, Martindale’s Road, St Michael.

It is a joint initiative of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), the Ministry of Health, the Barbados Defence Force, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and the Regional Security System.

“We are interviewing doctors both from public and private practice to get an idea of the general buy-in and we’ve received a lot of interest so far,” said co-ordinator Major David Binks.

The doctors selected would be on call to work in the mobile facility when necessary, able to respond to local or regional emergencies following natural disasters.

So far, around 30 volunteers are taking part in the upkeep of the facility.

Binks explained that it took around 45 minutes to set up a tent but the facility would only be set up post-disaster so there should be no danger of it being affected by storms.

The medical facility is rated Level 1 for outpatients and emergency work. There are two higher levels and the hope is to one day get the facility to Level 2, capable of handling surgeries.

For now, there is still more equipment on the way, although Dr Godfrey Xuereb, the PAHO/World Health Organisation representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, could not say when it would arrive, as it was specialty equipment and they were waiting on the supplier.

Minister of Health, Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Jeffrey Bostic, said he wanted to assure the public that Barbados was strengthening its safety and security measures, while being able to assist its neighbours.

He said the medical facility would not be “sitting idle” and called on corporate Barbados to help expand it. (CA)