Minister for Health, Peggy Vidot, has said the health ministry has no shortage of medications, no equipment are mal-functioning, staff morale is not low and the level of service delivery is n’t low compared to the situation under the previous administration.
Minister Vidot made the statement following a private notice question by the leader of the opposition, Sebastien Pillay, asking the minister to clearly explain in detail to the National Assembly what the government is doing to address several challenges faced by the ministry in regards to shortage of medications, the state of the equipment, staff morale and the level of service being offered to the public.
The minister said that apart from a few hiccups which usually occur in health practices, all is running quite smoothly. She noted that among the hiccups that need to be addressed is to get people to adhere to health prevention to protect their own health. She confirmed that there is no shortage of medication in the Ministry of Health other than some medications featuring on the essential drug list that are available and with the same effect, which are being administrated to patients.
Minister Vidot stated that since the new administration came into office, it has come across many challenges, including staff morale which is now being addressed on a daily basis with the support of the hard work and devotion of the health workers. She stated that they have built oxygen points to care for Covid-19 patients and brought in vaccines to care for the community so that the economy continues to grow, and boost the morale of staff who worked in a more conducive environment to care for the patients and prevent mass deaths as was the case in some countries.
She noted that the opening of the La Digue hospital in a few months will surely boost staff morale on the island, while the National Institute of Health and Social Studies (NIHSS) building which will also be completed shortly will help attract more students to join the health system. She said the morale of the nearly 2,000 staff in public health is higher than ever and the staff are doing their work with professionalism to address the common health challenges.
She further said that the health workers need more of our encouragement and appreciation for their work. She thanked all those who recognise and appreciate the noble work done by health workers.
Minister Vidot said the ministry has a new strategic plan in place with a new primary health care service package for the community to reduce challenges and to boost staff morale.
She said the health workers have for the past two years made many sacrifices with regard to working long hours, changing work stations and being away from their families to treat Covid-19 patients.
She said there are enough equipment for the health workers to work with but we have to bear in mind that as a small country we do not have expert to fix some sophisticated equipment and the ministry has to wait for experts from abroad to come and fix them.
Minister Vidot stated that in general, the feedback is that the health service provided in the country is good and that the ministry is working to improve on it.
She stated that the ministry has sent 150 patients for treatment overseas since the start of the year and work is ongoing to address the lack of manpower within the ministry.
She added that apart from seeking for more workers, the ministry is going to buy new equipment and will continue with its capacity building programmes of staff, including overseas training.
She thanked the health workers for their devotion and engagement in their work provided to the public in the past two years especially during the hard times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
She also thanked the public for supporting the health workers.
The minister was assisted by principal secretary for Health Dr Bernard Valentin, chief executive of the Health Care Agency, Dr Danny Louange, and the public health commissioner, Dr Jude Gedeon.
Source: Seychelles Nation