PRESS RELEASE – QUALITY healthcare and its delivery continue to be priority for the Ministry of Health and Wellness. Ensuring quality health services within both the public and private sector by establishing standards of care is the goal behind the National Quality Healthcare Policy spearheaded by the Ministry of Health. Research Officer for Quality, Nurse Ira Isaacs-Henry, said this policy is the foundation of the National Quality Management System to be implemented.
“The strategic direction of the government is to standardize healthcare, meaning that by 2020 all healthcare facilities should be licensed and ready for future accreditation and this is to boost our medical tourism and to ensure safety in the healthcare delivery of our clients,” Isaacs-Henry said. “The National Policy is the road map to get to where we are going because they say you cannot find treasure without a map. Therefore, you cannot achieve quality and quality health care and improve the outcome of our client and our population without having a strategic direction and this quality policy is that road map and strategic direction that will get us to quality healthcare.”
Via the 10th EDF, National Indicative Programme, several consultations were conducted with various stakeholders to identify gaps and areas which informed the formulation of the quality policy.
“We have also done reviews with our stakeholders and even our population and they have given us feedback. Based on what we have heard, we have sat down and created this policy and we are here again to once again ensure from the general public that we did what they wanted us to do,” she added.
The St. Lucia Medical and Dental Council is in full support of the implementation of a quality health policy. The primary objective of the Council is to ensure the protection of the public via the registration of qualified medical practitioners, ensuring that they have the requisite training and skill set. Dr. Sherry Ephraim-Le Compte is the Chairperson of the St. Lucia Medical and Dental Council.
“This workshop today highlighted the fact that the Ministry is moving towards a quality healthcare policy, standardization of facilities as well as professionals. It is very important for the licensing of facilities because for a practitioner to provide care to a patient they need the requisite tools (and) the requisite environment. So it is a good thing that the Ministry will have a facility standard that when a patient goes into an office, they know that that practitioner has the necessary tools and equipment to provide the quality of care that they are seeking and that the output would be very positive for them,” Dr. Ephraim-Le Compte said.
The latest round of consultations on the Quality Health Policy involved officials from St. Jude and Victoria Hospitals, Allied Health, St. Lucia Medical and Dental Council and officials from the Ministry of Health.