The University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) is working on a project to facilitate remote access to its health system by persons in rural areas, using telemedicine consultation.

This was disclosed by Medical Chief of Staff at UHWI, Dr. Carl Bruce, at a recent ceremony for the presentation of funds to the hospital’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department by the Rotary Club of St. Andrew North.

According to Dr. Bruce, healthcare is evolving, and the hospital is taking the necessary steps to embrace the changes.

“We’ve been working with the Minister of Health on this project to try to get people in deep rural areas who are unable to access the UHWI readily, to get an online or telemedicine consultation,” he explained.

He said the hospital has been working on the project with the help of Professor Archibald McDonald, who was instrumental in developing the emergency medical system at the health facility. 

Dr. Bruce said that development included the construction of the building that currently houses the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department, along with the several other expansions.

“We thought that would have solved all of our problems, but as we move forward, we will have to continue to expand,” he said.

Dr. Bruce was speaking against the background of a donation of US$3,000 by the Rotary Club under its major project initiative for the Rotary year 2016-2017.

Under the initiative, the Club had committed to making a contribution towards equipping the lecture theatre at the A&E with state-of-the art multimedia equipment to aid in the training of emergency personnel at the hospital.

Dr. Bruce pointed out that the technology would assist with keeping the staff up to date with the ever-changing profession.

“We need to know what the latest treatment is and the standard of care. With this technology, we will have access to many of those standards by logging in worldwide. For example, we can find the latest on a particular poison by going on and checking. That information is readily available without delay,” he noted. “We are very grateful for this donation. We will incorporate it into what the University has been doing since 1948, and we look forward to a continuous partnership with the Rotary Club of St. Andrew North,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Club’s Past President (2016-2017), Glenroy Williams, who made the presentation to Head of the A&E Department, Dr. Simone Ffrench, said the Club was very happy to be able to make good on the commitment that was made to the Hospital in 2016.

“We are pleased to be able to follow through on our pledge to assist the Accident and Emergency Department in this tangible way,” he said.