The general public is being encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity for free medical care from the U.S. Navy hospital ship, Comfort.
Described as the largest floating hospital in the U.S., it will be in Dominica from July 27 to August 7 for a health mission, providing a wide range of services to the Dominican public.
Dr. Laura Esprit is Acting Director for Primary Health Care Services.
“The services will include pediatrics, dental care, surgery, optometry, internal medicine, dermatology, urology, cardiology, ophthalmology, women’s health, physical therapy, plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthopedics, emergency medicine, anesthesia and pediatric surgery. Family Nurse Practitioners will be present and diagnostic imaging will be done,” she said.
The ship’s medical team will serve the general public for nine days, from July 28 to August 5th and will start no later than 9am on each day and end no later than 5pm.
All services will be provided at two medical sites on the island but surgical and diagnostic procedures will be done on board the ship.
“The first medical site is the Dominica Grammar School in Roseau to serve the following health districts:
“Roseau (Scott’s Head to Roseau including Roseau Valley, Fond Cole, Massacre, Mahaut, Tarreau, Campbell and Warner)
“Grand Bay (Pichelin to Petit Savanne)
“La Plaine (Grand Fond to Delices)
“Castle Bruce (Castle Bruce, Good Hope, Petit Soufriere, San Sauveur, Salybia and Mahaut River).”
She continued that “The second medical site is the Roosevelt Douglas Primary School in Portsmouth.
This site will serve the health districts of:
“Portsmouth (Penville, Vieille Case, Paix Bouche and Anse de Mai)“St. Joseph (Belles, Layou, Colihaut)
“Marigot (Wesley, Calibishie and Atkinson).”
The elderly, children and vulnerable groups will be given priority and should be accompanied by their next of kin or someone who is fully aware of their condition.
Creole-speaking persons are also advised to have a familiar translator on the ship’s screening days.
Patients are reminded to provide the staff with a valid identification and medical book.
Surgical and diagnostic procedures will be done aboard the ship while dental and medical consultations will be performed at the two medical sites.
“All post-operative recovery will be done aboard the ship,” says Dr. Espirit, “During the nine operational days of the mission. Patients requiring continued care will be transported via ambulance from the vessel directly to the Princess Margaret Hospital. Patients with non-critical conditions will be discharged directly to their homes. Patients will be given clear instructions as to the date, time and place of follow-up care prior to being discharged.”
Persons requiring specialist services from private physicians, as well as inmates of the Dominica State Prison, Residents of the the Infirmary, Grotto Home for the Homeless, and other privately-owned elderly homes are encouraged to participate in the mission.