Parika, Leguan to benefit from X-ray facilities

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The Leguan Cottage Hospital and Parika Health Centre are expected to have fully functional x-ray departments by the end of the year. These facilities are part of the Ministry of Public Health’s effort to improve the services offered by regional health facilities.

Public Health Minister Dr George Norton recently visited the two facilities to observe progress of the works done. The Parika Health Centre’s facility is 95 percent completed, but much more work has to be done at the Leguan Cottage Hospital.

Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton and officials examining x-ray machine at Leguan Cottage Hospital. The machine has been in the crate it arrived in for over five years
Public Health Minister Dr George Norton and officials examining x-ray machine at Leguan Cottage Hospital. The machine has been in the crate it arrived in for over five years

At Parika, the installation of lead glass, a hatch and air condition units are all that remain to be done. However, sourcing the glass is expected to take roughly two months. The x-ray service will become available shortly after installation of additional parts once they are obtained, Regional Health Officer, Dr Shawn Bancroft explained. There are already trained technicians to man the facility once it is up and running.

Meanwhile, Dr Norton took his officers to task for failing to ensure the functionality of the x-ray department at Leguan sooner.  According to a GINA report, when the minister visited the hospital over the weekend, the x-ray machine was still in its crate in which it came.

Dr Norton said it was unacceptable that the department remains non-functional five years after receiving an x-ray machine. “I can’t understand why was such a machine [would be] allowed to just lay up in the corner,” he said. He added too, “I don’t think it was a shortage of cash, it wasn’t a shortage of labour or anything like that. It’s just that I think the will to get it done.”

The Public Health Minister charged the regional officials to have the x-ray department at the Leguan Cottage Hospital functioning as soon as possible.

The x-ray machine at Parika Health Centre already set up
The x-ray machine at Parika Health Centre already set up

However, regional officials who accompanied the minister on the visit were unable to say exactly when the machine will become functional since they are still to determine if it works and what other parts are needed.

Meanwhile, the building itself has to undergo extensive modifications before it can serve as intended. The door needs to be lined with lead, the walls need to be fortified against radiation and a protective barrier needs to be created for the x-ray machine’s control panel among other things, Ms Donna Bowman, Principal Radiographer at the Ministry of Public Health explained.

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