Outpatient clinics closed, non-essential services closed

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Outpatient clinics at hospitals and health centers will be closed until further notice due to the tropical storm warning for TT.

A press release from the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday that from noon non-essential services such as outpatient clinics would be suspended.

But all accident and emergency services, inpatient services and emergency ambulance services would remain open and operational.

“Patients are also reminded to adhere to all of their medications as prescribed by your doctor. Members of the public are further advised to avoid contact with floodwaters to reduce the risk of contracting waterborne diseases such as gastroenteritis and leptospirosis.

At around 5:30 p.m. Monday, the TT weather bureau placed the country on a tropical storm orange level alert.

It said periods of heavy to intense showers and/or thunderstorms, gusty winds and flash flooding were expected from 8 p.m. Tuesday. However, at 11 a.m. Tuesday, he posted an update saying conditions were likely as of 6 p.m.

Newsday contacted the various regional health authorities (RHAs) on Tuesday, but many CEOs were in meetings for most of the day, finalizing preparations for the storm and its possible impact on health services.

However, in a WhatsApp message, North Central RHA CEO Davlin Thomas said his staff began preparations on Sunday with additional comprehensive checks on critical equipment including generators, inverters, backup batteries and power supplies. medical equipment.

“Emergency food, water and fuel have been procured and additional staff are in place as needed. And inpatient surge capacity has been boosted to facilitate disaster response if needed.

Additionally, its incident response team had radio communication and was on orange alert.

In a statement, the Eastern RHA said it was operating on “high alert” and instructed its disaster emergency command centers to manage and ensure the continuity of health services. And its disaster preparedness department and administrative teams at Sangre Grande, Nariva/Mayaro and St Andrew/St David Hospital checked the level of preparedness at all facilities.

“At present, all generators are functional, fuel storage is at capacity, water tanks have been filled, pumps have been serviced and wireless radios are functional. Our collaborative agreements are also in place with the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation, the Water and Sewage Authority and all private contractors for the supply of emergency items if required.

He said non-perishable items and emergency medicine were properly stored, flood valves in potentially sensitive buildings were in place to minimize property damage and arrangements were in place to ensure well-being. staff, including the availability of shuttles to transport staff to key facilities.

“The authority continues to operate under the direction and collaboration of the Department of Health and assures our customers that we are prepared for the potential weather system.”

She added that she was monitoring the progression of the tropical wave in the Atlantic.

The South West RHA, in a WhatsApp message, said it had proactively activated its incident command system of senior clinical and administrative management staff to manage the ongoing situation.

“Led by designated members of the management team in conjunction with the Board of Directors, the Ministry of Health and relevant external support agencies, SWRHA has ensured the efficiency of all standby generators, as well as lighting and water systems remain fully functional at all hospitals and district health facilities. All facility risk assessments have been completed and addressed.

“In addition, additional consumables and pharmaceuticals for patient care were distributed and assigned to the respective clinical areas for use, should it become necessary.”

SWRHA said emergency departments at San Fernando and Point Fortin General Hospital and district health facilities remain open 24 hours a day while all other health centers remain closed.

Michelle J. Kelley