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MSJMC Receives High Marks for PAHO Vulnerability Assessment

St. John’s, Antigua April 21, 2013 – The results of an assessment of the hospital’s vulnerability in Antigua were presented on 12 April 2013 at a workshop on safer hospitals in disasters, organized by the Ministry of Health and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Country Office.
The assessment was carried out during the period March 6th to 8th using the Hospital Safety Index tool developed by PAHO/WHO, as part of the organization’s technical support to help strengthen national hospital emergency preparedness and disaster resilience in Antigua & Barbuda. The collaborative agreement between the Government of Antigua & Barbuda and PAHO also encompasses further development of the emergency management program for healthcare facilities through an all-hazard approach to address potential humanitarian needs in future crises and disasters and to comply with the core capacities outlined in the International Health Regulations.
Director of Administration & Head of Disaster Services at MSJMC, Gary Thomas, highlighted that having a safe hospital is both an essential healthcare as well as a commercial requirement; the most expensive hospital is “the one that fails”. “I hope that the findings of our hospital’s vulnerability assessment will serve as a basis for cooperation among all of us to foster the protection and safety improvement of this critical segment of the country’s infrastructure.” Mr. Thomas added that “ensuring that our hospital remains safe is a duty of the overall system as only safe hospitals save lives. The continuity of a functional hospital in emergencies is a prerequisite for stability and economic development and a very powerful symbol of social advancement.”

Tony Gibbs, a Fellow of the Royal College of Engineers and one of the PAHO consultants who conducted the vulnerability assessment said; “The dedication and enthusiasm of the team of hospital personnel associated with maintaining the premises and preparing for emergencies was evident throughout the 3-day exercise. The leadership of Mr. Gary Thomas, Director of Administration, was outstanding. Mr. Thomas is knowledgeable, quiet but firm in manner and commands the respect of his staff. What was obvious is that Mr. Thomas and his team not only talks and writes but actually implement what is being preached.

Continued Mr. Gibbs; “Procrastination is not a characteristic of the management. Throughout the visit the cooperation of the staff was impressive. It is not surprising that the Mount Saint John’s Medical Centre has received the highest mark to date of all hospitals in the Caribbean assessed by PAHO’s Hospital Safety Index.”

MSJMC received a score of eight (8) out of a total of ten (10) points.

Determining the Hospital Safety Index is a new way of managing risk in the health sector. It is a comprehensive tool for identifying structural, non-structural and functional vulnerabilities in healthcare facilities. It also allows a health facility’s level of safety to be monitored over time.

The Hospital Safety Index was developed through a lengthy process of dialogue, testing and revision, over a period of two years, initially by the Pan American Health Organization’s Disaster Mitigation Advisory Group (DiMAG) and later with input from other specialists in Latin America and the Caribbean.


Editors Note:
Photo attached (L-R): Edward Emmanuel (PAHO in Country Rep.), Hugo Martinez (PAHO Consultant) and Tony Gibbs (PAHO Consultant)

About Mount St. John’s Medical Centre
Mount St. John’s Medical Centre is a 185-bed teaching hospital with Caribbean Medical Council Association (CAMC) accreditation. In 2009 the hospital opened its doors featuring one of the most comprehensive diagnostic imaging centers in the Eastern Caribbean.
MSJMC is committed to excellence in patient care with many specialties in medicine and surgery. Our services include: Internal Medicine, Paediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, General Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Ear, Nose & Throat, Nephrology, Ophthalmology, Radiology, Pain Management, Oncology, Diabetes Management, Rehabilitation, Emergency & Trauma, Clinical Laboratory & Pathology and Pharmacy.
For media inquiries please contact:
Salma Crump
(268) 484-2700 ext. 2711 (Office)
(268) 764-5604 (Mobile)


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