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PAHO/WHO rep makes case for regional specialized health facilities

A representative of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and World Health Organisation (WHO) said there is no need for the country and other small island nations to consider having their own specialists to handle medical cases.

Dr Godfrey Xuereb

The Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean representative for PAHO/WHO, Dr Godfrey Xuereb said although Antigua & Barbuda could not handle the teenager who was severely burnt on New Year’s Day, the government has the best arrangement with other countries to help patients.

“When we look at the number of people we have in the Caribbean, we are small island developing states; our population is small and it means specialised cases will happen in small numbers. A health care specialist would have to be a super specialist – they would not see the numbers to remain a specialist, (they) won’t be able to keep their skills,” Dr Xuereb told OBSERVER media.

In addition to doctors not having enough patients to have a viable practice, the PAHO/WHO representative said the equipment required to diagnose and treat specialist care is extremely expensive.

Dr Xuereb said patients being stabilised here and flown to neighbouring islands or other continents for treatment is the better than wasting resources that could never be used to its fullest capacity.

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