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St. Kitts and Nevis launches ICT Network Project for healthcare system

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St. Kitts and Nevis: Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew became part of the launch of the ICT Network Project. The project has propelled the health sector into a new era of technical advancement that will lead to the progress in the health care delivery.

PM Drew highlighted that the project is initiated to convert the healthcare facilities into smart facilities. With this, a doctor in the hospital can stay at JNF and see a patient in Cayon Health Center by using a device such as laptop also known as telemedicine.

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“It is truly a transformative and we will not wait until new hospital is built and we have started with this,” said Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Health Minister Drew, presented his gratitude to the NTRC, The Cable and the Ministry of Health for collaborating on this project.

PM Dr. Terrance Drew at the launch of ICT Network Project
PM Dr. Terrance Drew at the launch of ICT Network Project

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has introduced the new high-speed as well as the cutting-edge ICT network for the healthcare system. The project is mandatory to transform and modernise the healthcare services in St. Kitts and Nevis. It also marks a crucial step in the digitisation of the public health sector.

Considerably, the new network comes under the St. Kitts Health services ICT Project that is funded by the Universal Service Fund (USF) of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) and is undertaken by the St. Kitts-Nevis Communications Ltd. – The Cable.

According to the sources, the first component of the project was building a Wide-Area Network (WAN) between the main health institution, the Joseph N. France (JNF) General Hospital and the sixteen other clinics and health facilities in St. Kitts.

The primary objective of the project is to deliver universal access to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services to all primary users of hospitals, also considering the clinics and other health facilities.

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The project was officially presented to the Ministry of Health during a ceremony which was held on Tuesday, June 5, 2024 at the JNF General Hospital conference room.

Poster of ICT Network Project launched for healthcare system
Poster of ICT Network Project launched for healthcare system

Enlightening about the project Prime Minister and Minister of Health Dr. Terrance Drew stated that the build out of a healthcare sector cannot e achieved unless it is premised on the introduction of new technology.

He further mentioned that the St. Kitts Health services ICT Project will play a critical role in ensuring medical practitioners who have early access to patient information to facilitate efficient diagnosis and right treatment options.

The Prime Minister also said that it is recognisable that people can sometimes get sub-optimal care, not because the practitioners are not up to the mark but rather it is due to the access to ready information for them to make the critical decisions which impacts positively on people’s health.

Drew also added that the information could be missing and they might need to fill the gap. That is where the technology helps them significantly.

Notably, the ceremony held on Tuesday was capped off with a live demonstration of the ICT Network’s Capabilities and as a health practitioner at the Cayon Health Centre.

The ceremony was connected live via videoconferencing with a doctor at the JNF General Hospital to assist in diagnosing a patient who exhibits symptoms of hypertension.

Chief Executive Officer of The Cable – Patricia Walters said that all patients, regardless of location, can now receive the best possible care and noted that the video conference capability is just one aspect of the system.

CEO Walters also stated that the future goals for the system include the virtual waiting rooms that secures online report of the patient, multi-specialists’ consultation and personalised education portals. The entire St. Kitts Health Services ICT Project was funded to the tune of 3.3 million dollars.

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