BVIHSA ambulances @ shelf life; Over $1.5M to accredit hospital
She further stated in an answer to a question from Junior Minister for Tourism Hon Archibald C. Christian (AL) that there are 1 on Virgin Gorda and 1 on Anegada.
However, Mrs Chester-Cumberbatch told the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) that the shelf life is 5 years for ambulances in the region and the current ambulances on Tortola are 4 to 5 years old.
A few months ago there have been issues in receiving ambulances in a timely manner on Tortola and there were reportedly some two cases where, because of the long delays, patients had to be transported in the back of pickup trucks.
Big money to get accreditation
In addition, the CEO told the SFC that it will cost $1.5M for one year of hospital accreditation. The former Leader of the Opposition Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) inquired about the benefits of accreditation.
To this, Mrs Chester-Cumberbatch said the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) will be in a situation where without accreditation companies from the United States and Europe will not pay for services here unless the hospital is accredited.
Meanwhile, Hon Fraser asked the CEO the reason why persons over the age of 65 years are being charged for medication and care at Peebles Hospital.
It was explained by the Financial Comptroller Ms Angelina John that the policy states “persons over 65 years have to pay for special medication of which they pay 20% and National Health Insurance (NHI) covers 80%.” She noted that the reasons for same was that ordering special medication was very costly and payment has to be done before the medication can be received.
The Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Ronnie W. Skelton (AL) explained that medications, which are provided through the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), formerly “were free for persons over 65 years”. He noted; however, that once a doctor prescribes special medication, the hospital provides a service in which they would assist patients with ordering their medication at a subsidised cost.
It’s a Hotel?
The Member for the Sixth District, Hon Delores Christopher, enquired about the price of a room at Peebles Hospital. The BVIHSA CEO told the Members that at Peebles Hospital semi-private room were $225.00 per night and $250.00 for private rooms which include meals.