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St. Maarten Ambulance Department being brought up to par

MONDAY, 22 JULY 2013

CAY HILL–Efforts have been made to bring the Ambulance Department “up to par” after “inconsistencies” were discovered during a recent audit.

The Department was audited on July 12 by the Inspectorate of Public Health, which is responsible for the supervision of health care institutions, including the Ambulance Department, to safeguard the quality of care of the population, read a press release issued by Health Minister Cornelius de Weever’s cabinet Sunday night. It was the first audit of its kind at the Department.

Based on some inconsistencies observed and the fact that the Ambulance Department did not have a medical advisor forming part of its team to supervise the medical actions of the ambulance nurses, the Inspectorate of Public Health, in anticipation of the inspection report, considered it necessary to take certain measures immediately to prohibit the execution of four reserved procedures being carried out by the ambulance nurses in the absence of having a medical advisor on the team. The medical doctor plays a key role in the supervision and supervision possibilities of the nurse.

The Daily Herald understands that as of Monday, July 16, all ambulance paramedics are not allowed to administer any medications to patients, no oxygen, and are not even allowed to use the life-saving heart machine to shock patients when they go into cardiac arrest.

The release said De Weever, on being notified of the audit, immediately called an emergency meeting with Secretary-General Jorien Wuite and Ambulance Department Head Cylred Richardson to discuss matters further. “We have been able to secure a medical advisor for the Department as a means to bring operations up to par at the Ambulance Department,” said De Weever.

So far, the Ambulance Department has complied with the measures and the pre-conditions set by the Inspectorate by presenting a plan of approach to strengthen the ambulance care. The Department also has acquired the services of a medical doctor on the team as medical advisor, the release read.

On the basis of the plan of approach that was presented (plan van aanpak versterking ambulancezorg), including that of a medical advisor who will be able to check and ensure by testing the ability of the ambulance personnel to perform restricted actions, the Inspectorate has withdrawn three of its previous imposed measures.

A training plan to perform restricted actions by the ambulance nurses also has been put in place for execution during this week in which the ambulance nurses will be tested on their ability to execute restricted actions in collaboration with a training coordinator and the medical advisor.

De Weever said the Inspectorate had to do its job and the Ambulance Department had to comply and work together to ensure the highest possible standard of care for the population of St. Maarten.

Bron: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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