EU identifies health sector loopholes

Dr. David Johnson. Photo by GIS
Dr. David Johnson. Photo by GIS

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Johnson, has said that a recently concluded European Union (EU) assessment has concluded that there are major loopholes in three key areas of Dominica’s health sector.

Dr. Johnson made the disclosure during the start of a two day Maternal and Child Health Workshop for over 40 health care providers at the Princess Margaret Hospital on Thursday.

“I should admit that the recently concluded assessment of the two EU consultants revealed significant gaps in three specific areas which are directly related to the health sector,” he said. “These are namely, health policy related to maternal and new born care delivery, our health care delivery system on a whole and our health information system.”

Johnson said that the Ministry of Health is in the process of putting into practice tough measures to reverse one aspect of these loopholes and that is the problem of infant mortality.

“The interventions are aimed particularly at reducing prenatal and neonatal mortality consistent in achieving overall reduction in our infant mortality,” he said. “Three strategic interventions have been proposed to address the gaps identified … these are namely, a focus on the reviewing of our health, policy related to maternal child care delivery, and our human resource policy relating to staff assignment and rotation,” he added.

The Chief Medical Officer said the health information system will be reinforced to play a leading role in “maternal child health data management for monitoring and evaluation purposes.”

“Directly relating to this would be the reinforcement of the maternal-related child health information system through the implementation of prenatal and neonatal deaths surveillance system,” he said.

Among presenters at the workshop Drs. Binta Lmbert, S. Alexander, G. Birchwood and Beryl Irons from PAHO.

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  1. african
    June 16, 2013

    What about the CT machine at the hospital? When is it going to get fixed? Poor those of us who do not have the money to go overseas for that.

  2. togetherness
    June 14, 2013

    The PM and the ministers travel all the world, are they blind to not see the difference in a dilapidated health system. I know we cannot provide all the best technology due to expenses, but some basic things in the health care system stands up like a sore thumb. We all know, they will not go to the hospitals in Dominica if they or they closest families, get sick.

    Why, oh why Lord, these ministers are not crying louder for good health care, and health care facilities, equipped to help our people. I don’t care how much wealth nobody has, but when you don’t have health, you have nothing and cannot enjoy nothing. HELP, HELP, HEALTH, HEALTH.

  3. Aye Dominique
    June 14, 2013


    When politicians stop hiring based on who they are friends or family with, and allow the public service to operate in the way it was intended where persons hired and in position to do the job is actually doing it then we will see much more progress.

    Establishment is bypassed, and politicians are putting all kinds of people in positions who has no clue how to do the job and so my fellow Dominicans this is the end result.

    We do not want change, we have no appetite for progress in this country. People die, people live, people are murdered, nobody cares.

    The ministry of health is seriously in need of competent people to move the health system in Dominica forward. However we lack competent people in key positions who can work and has an interest in getting things done.

    It does not have to take consultants to tell us what we already know. Everyday we have people from all over coming into Dominica to tell us what we already know in their foreign accents, then we are happy.

    Ministry of health is in a serious state and the health system in Dominica is deplorable. Now those who are being paid big salaries to fix it need to be ashame of themselves.

  4. Papa Dom
    June 14, 2013

    but we building $27million palace doh, bey!

  5. DA Native
    June 14, 2013

    The Princess Margaret Hospital is sadly lacking equipment– when will the PMH get the necessary equipment that it needs ???–the construction of the new hospital should be “top priority” and take precedence over quite a number of initiatives that have either already been done or are sch3eduled to be done — too many people have to be flown out to neighboring islands for medical attention !!!!

  6. A concern citizen
    June 14, 2013

    Well, well, well, again and again, our priority was to build a state palace and not a state of the art hospital.
    Its a little less than 15 years now since the promise was made to build a modern hospital and up to the present, Dominicans cannot enjoy the luxury of a modern state of the art hospital, but we are boasting about a modern state palace for our rich overseas guest and our local dignitaries to enjoy expensive wine, champagne, caver, shrimps, oysters, black and blue label whiskey and black label Hennessey and other five star dishes,
    while the poor people of Dominica die or get cripple if they cannot pay for overseas health care.
    Lately one media house gave it a new name, The Diplomatic Centre, I guess someone in that media house saw the one in Trinidad built by the Chinese and was told that it is called the Diplomatic Centre.
    Note the Dominica State Palace is a small replica of the one in Trinidad known as the Diplomatic Centre which cost over usd150 million. It was quoted in Trinidad that their top Olympic Swimming Athlete is without an Olympic size swimming pool to practice in, but there was a large lagoon type swimming pool in the Diplomatic Centre.
    In Dominica we don’t have a Modern well equip hospital but we invested in State Palace or a diplomatic centre, what a shame, while our sick people languish in the ICU.

  7. lon
    June 14, 2013

    Just make sure no all saints doctors practice in that hospital or else we die in d/ca. Not with the entry requirements I seeing..I met one with the guts to say he couldn’t enter state college so he choose all saints. Pure madness

    • Malgraysa
      June 14, 2013

      I like that Ion. You met with one of the “guts”. Is it the one that escaped from the operating theatre?

    • doc
      June 14, 2013

      trust me, i know from experience. they are dense as rocks. all saints students comprise of former bank tellers, queen contestants and supermarket cashiers. even students with only a high school diploma. their own teachers complain about them.

    • jespen
      June 15, 2013

      I know of a person who was unable to pass three CXC subjects at high shool, but through determination, he worked hard till he was able to enter college where at graduation he was the valedictorian and later received the island scholarship. He later moved on to UWI where he obtained his bachelors and made the honor role. Later obtained his masters on a government scholarship and then his PHD on university sponsored scholarship.

      We all have a story to tell. What’s your story?

  8. Blue Ray
    June 14, 2013

    Did not have to take EU to realise that.

  9. dissident
    June 14, 2013

    u see de state of our health care system?

    By de way we are very proud to have one of our daughters of de soil heading one of de major health organizations in de entire world


    really and truly, what are our priorities…….building Villas and exporting aggregate?

  10. LCM
    June 14, 2013

    Only 3 areas. My family is still waiting for father’s medical records. Its 5 yrs now. It was requested in writing by the next of Kin.

    • Malgraysa
      June 14, 2013

      That is part of problem area no.3, health information system.

  11. Anonymous
    June 14, 2013

    I strongly agree with the EU consultants on the areas mentioned. On the isssue of maternal and new born care delivery, we understand that there allegedly seems to be increasing numbers of induced labour with the use of drugs like oxytocin and by extension C-section delivery taking place at the PMH. With this practice there is definitely an increased risk of premature birth, low heart rate, infection, umbilical cord problems, uterine rupture,and bleeding after delivery. Why are so many young pregnant women being induced into labour, a process which should happen naturally? Can the aspiring mother choose to have a naturally induced birth without the use of oxytocin or a prostaglandin? Is it a question of not having sufficient delivery facilities at the maternal ward to accomodate the number of pregnant aspiring mothers who might go into labour at any given point? Is it that the numbers which go into labour at any given point in time are so high that natural induced labour cannot be entertained because of the lmited space in relation to delivery turnover? Is it, is it, is it??
    On the issue of our health care delivery system on a whole; were we not regional leaders in terms of primary health care delivery back in the days? Do we not remember the days under the freedom party, Dame Eugenia Charles rule when rural community health care was the envy of many of our sister islands? Was Dominica not a model in terms of its rural health care outreach programmes? How have we gotten to that stage where PAHO consultants can presently identify that as cause for concern?

    • Anonymous
      June 14, 2013

      Did PAHO say primary health care delivery was a problem area, or was it just delivery of health care in GENERAL. Please read the news item again. Our primary health care is still one of envy.

  12. Pedro
    June 14, 2013

    Its a pity that we need reports from consultants to tell us what we already know. It is well known for example that there are major issues with health care delivery. As for the mortality rate statistics, the health care officials have always hard these. The new hospital should have been a priority over all the major undertakings including the stadium. After all, if we cant prolong our lives with good health care delivery then we may have problems enjoying the other developments. Can we get a final response on when the new hospital can expect to be started and completed? I am hoping thats not too much to ask. Dominicans are extraordinarily patient.

    • John Paul
      June 14, 2013

      Hey we built the President a palace let us build one for the Prime Minister ,we hate to hear Him complain about His switches not working and His taps leaking in the Home provided by the State !That will solve all our problems

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