The Government of Dominica continues to prioritize the need to improve healthcare.
The National Health Commission has placed its primary focus on the development of the governance structure of the Dominica China Friendship Hospital.
The commission held consultations with over one hundred and forty people, and organizations discussing the quality of care at the hospital.
“The present situation at the hospital is one where we have three managers at the hospital; Hospital Services Coordinator, Medical Director and the Matron. Each of these people report to a different person at the Ministry. We are saying that this cannot work. In fact, it has never worked, and if you are going to improve the quality of health care, you need to start there. Interestingly enough, when we hear comments in the public domain about quality improvement, we haven’t heard anything about the issues of accountability. And we are saying as a first step, we need to bring the decision making much closer to where it’s happening and that is at the hospital. So that if a spare part is required to get the theatre running again, we should not have one person making the requests, to a higher person at the hospital and then it goes to the Ministry and then the Ministry has to go to the Ministry of Finance,” His Excellency Williams stated.
His Excellency Eluid Williams says the commission has proposed a system to have decision making closely associated with the hospital.
Legislation has been drafted to govern the authority within the hospital and a structure to manage the hospital has been developed.
“We are in the process of repeating that process so that we can meet with as many as possible in every department including maintenance, housekeeping, dietary etc. so that the people can ask us the questions directly. So it is a lot of work but I think it’s necessary as the mandate asked us to do to ensure that what we are trying to create is not unique to Dominica,” Dr. Donald Peters explained.
The system will deliver systematic care for all citizens.
Meantime, the commission will also focus on the issues of admitting privileges and the use of hospital facilities for private practices.
“That has to change. Public patients must have priority in a public hospital, and we are putting arrangements in place to ensure that if you start the process of care or seeking care at the public hospital, you must have priority to get that care at a public hospital. Of course there would be instances where you must consult or you must go to private facilities because the private facilities compliment the public facilities. So we did the sensitization program and more recently we have started consultation on the legislation,” His Excellency Williams added.