Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital (DCFH), Dr. Dexter James said primary healthcare must “step up to the plate” in order to manage Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
He was speaking during a press conference held at the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital recently.
NCDs include heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, chronic lung disease, high blood pressure, and mental disorder, to name a few, and are said to be the leading cause of death in Dominica.
“Primary healthcare must step up to the plate at this point in time,” Dr. James said. “This is a tertiary care facility and therefore, the arrangement for the seamless movement of patients between primary and tertiary care requires that primary care manage these NCDs.”
He continued, “If that doesn’t happen we are going to have a big problem in the next 3 to 4 years.”
Furthermore, Dr. James stated that the average age of patients in the medical ward is 65 years and over.
“These are patients with chronic conditions, meaning the NCDs or patients having cardiac problems,” he explained
He said the Ministry of Health also needs to step up screening programs, including vision checks.
In June 2022, Health Minister Dr. Irving McIntyre who was addressing the Ministry of Health ceremony urged Dominicans to transfer all the energy and effort used during their fight against Covid-19 to the country’s next challenge, which is combating NCDs which he said is a major issue in Dominica.
He revealed that 80% of all deaths now are due to Non-Communicable Diseases and 63% of all premature deaths are due to Non-Communicable Diseases.