Health facilities ready

| 06/10/2008

(CNS): In a message to mark the World Health Organization’s International Day for Disaster Reduction, today 6 October, the Minister for Health and Human Services, Anthony Eden said that Cayman’s hospitals and healthcare systems are able to respond to any disaster orcrisis scenario, natural or manmade.

The World Disaster Reduction Campaign for 2008-2009 focuses on making "Hospitals Safe from Disasters" and the minister said that the importance of hospitals and health facilities extends beyond the direct life-saving role they play.

“They are also powerful symbols of social progress and a prerequisite for social stability and economic development, “he said. “Hospitals and health facilities need to remain functional during disasters. The human cost of a possible hospital failure is made very clear in the aftermath of disasters, when the immediate focus is on fatalities, search and rescue, and the need to tend to the injured. “

He added that being aware of their importance the Cayman Islands government has taken measures to ensure the resilience of the local healthcare system.

“Public and private sector coordinate resources, personnel and efforts to ensure a coordinated national medical response to needs which arise in the event of a natural disaster,” the Minister explained. “Steps have also been taken to enhance the capabilities of the Cayman Islands Hospital, being the major healthcare facility on the island. Recently a mobile Disaster Response Unit was purchased to increase the capability of the medical team to set up a mobile medical facility at the scene of any disaster, and render vitally necessary medical care onsite, reducing the need to transfer to the hospital, thereby potentially saving valuable time and precious lives.”

He said the hospital now has flood barriers to protect the main generator to ensure continuity of electrical supply and medical care in the event of a loss of power as occurred during hurricane Ivan.

“Everyone will remember that in spite of the significant toll exacted by Hurricane Ivan on our infrastructure, the two main hospitals and for the most part many of our private sector healthcare facilities withstood the worst of the devastating effects,” Eden added. “As Minister of Health, I assure you that we are doing our part to make our hospitals safe from disasters, and commend all those who work to make them so.”



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