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Chinese doctors for South hospital

By Sasha Harrinanan Wednesday, August 13 2014

click on pic to zoom in
The Chinese medical specialists who will be operating at the San Fernando General Hospital were introduced to the media yesterday at the Hyatt Regency...
The Chinese medical specialists who will be operating at the San Fernando General Hospital were introduced to the media yesterday at the Hyatt Regency...

A TEAM of ten senior Chinese health professionals, including two neurosurgeons, one neurologist and a vascular surgeon, will soon begin providing much needed specialised medical treatment to patients at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH).

Speaking with Newsday yesterday, chairman of the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA), Dr Lackram Bodoe, said SFGH was selected because “there is, absolutely, a big demand for the services of neurosurgeons and vascular surgeons at the hospital.”

“Until about a year ago, when two neurosurgeons arrived from Cuba, we didn’t have a neurosurgeon at SFGH for five years. Head injuries are one of the major types of cases in need of the sub-specialty of neurosurgeons and neurologists. We also need vascular surgeons to treat vascular complications of diabetes and hypertension, both of which are common health issues in Trinidad and Tobago,” Bodoe stated.

Questioned about the team’s English language skills, the SWRHA chairman assured that “they each speak English quite well, which is a major advantage for us.”

Bodoe also said the team is being housed “in close proximity to the hospital,” with the TT Government picking up the tab for their accommodation.

The Chinese medical team arrived in Trinidad last Thursday, as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on July 23 by this country’s Ministry of Health and the People’s Republic of China.

Under the MoU, TT will have the services of Chinese medical specialists for a two-year period, with a new team arriving every six months to replace the one in-country. This arrangement was first discussed during the official visit of China’s President, Xi Jinping, to this country May 31 to June 2, 2013.

The initial team of ten is comprised of the following specialists from the Xuanwu Hospital in Beijing: one anesthesiologist, one operating room nurse, one vascular surgeon, one vascular ultrasound technician, one interventional cardiologist, one general surgeon, one pneumonologist, one neurologist, and two neurosurgeons.

Apart from treating patients, the Ministry of Health said the visiting medical team “will assist (it) to further enhance the delivery of healthcare services in tertiary facilities by increasing the cadres of skilled medical professionals in the public health sector.”

The ministry also said this “capacity building” would be achieved through clinical practice, lectures and seminars at all Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) across the country.

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