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Vincentians living longer, healthier

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Although extensive research and numerous medical breakthroughs over the years could be credited for the extended life expectancy worldwide, persons in the medical field here also believe that the improved quality of health care is a major factor in Vincentians living longer.

In his address at the gathering at Government House to honour retired nurses, nursing assistants and community health aides on Monday, Minister of Health Dr. Douglas Slater mentioned that longer life expectancy is also a direct result of the availability and accessibility of quality health care administered to patients.{{more}}

He noted that research and statistics prove that compared to the 1950s and ’60s, Vincentians are living at least 20 years longer and healthier.

The minister jokingly suggested that the retired nurses, most in their fifties can come out of retirement and grace patients with their care and attention for a few more years, as suggested by the Governor-General Sir Frederick Ballantyne, who spoke earlier at the function.

On a more serious note, the minister alluded to the fact that this country’s health care system is better compared with many in the region as well as internationally.

He said that this is one of the determining factors that would keep students of the Kingstown Medical College coming here for their studies.

Also commenting on the country’s health and client care was Chief Nursing officer Sister Audrey Scott.

Scott said that health care here is much better despite the apparent increase in complaints from the public.

She said the increase is as a result of public awareness, which was not as it used to be, and most of the problems that arise in the system are usually not the fault of the persons administering care.

The problem of complaints has given rise to an increase in the incidents of abuse against nurses in the workplace, which president of the Nurses’ Association Sister Beverly Liverpool has condemned.

Liverpool stated in her address to commemorate nurses’ week, that psychological and physical abuse must not be tolerated, noting that a safe workplace is a pre-requisite for a positive practice environment and patient safety.

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