The Government, through the Ministry of Health and Wellness, has spent $18 million to acquire 200 new hospital reclining chairs, which will soon be distributed among hospitals across the island.
The first batch of chairs was sent off on Tuesday (October 22) from the Ministry’s storage facility in Kingston.
“This will be seen as a sort of interim measure.”— Tufton
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, said that the objective is to reduce overcrowding in Accident and Emergency Departments and to offer more comfort to patients while they wait to be admitted on wards, as the chairs can be unfolded and used as a substitute for a hospital bed.
Treatment supplies can also be connected to the chairs for patients to be treated while they wait.
“This will be seen as a sort of interim measure that allows patients to wait but wait in relative comfort while they are given initial treatment until they can be transferred to a hospital bed,” Tufton said.
He also noted that the beds will be helpful during this season with more persons seeking treatment for the flu and dengue, which oftentimes results in overcrowding in some hospitals.
Tufton said the Ministry decided to purchase new hospital reclining chairs because they are more resourceful than normal hospital beds.
“Part of the challenge with replacing more beds, is that if you put more beds in hospitals, you also have to build more buildings to accommodate the beds, and so, we have to, in the interim, while we plan to build out our hospitals, find a way to accommodate more people,” he said.