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Telemedicine launched in SVG

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16.JAN.09

The children of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are in a better position to receive critical health care through telemedicine, a cutting edge technology which was officially launched here at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital on January 6th, 2009.{{more}}

The Ministry of Health and the Environment has collaborated with the International Hospital for Children of Virginia, USA and the Rotary Club of St. Vincent South to make this state of the art technology available at the Pediatric Ward, the Operating Theatre and the Conference Room of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in the first instance. It is hoped that the technology will spread to the Outpatient Clinics and the Grenadines.

Telemedicine is a rapidly developing application of clinical medicine where medical information is transferred via telephone, the Internet or other networks for the purpose of consulting and sometimes remote medical procedures or examinations. The technology, which was launched here, will utilize video conferencing equipment to conduct real-time consultations between local medical specialists and those at the International Hospital for Children in the United States.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Minister of Health and the Environment Dr. Douglas Slater hailed the occasion as an important one where technology is being used for the benefit of mankind. Slater said citizens have high expectations of Government, especially when it comes to the area of health. He said Vincentian children have benefited from millions of dollars worth of health care since the establishment of the partnership over seven years ago with the International Children Hospital and the Rotary Club of St. Vincent South.

The Health Minister, therefore, thanked those involved, adding that government will continue to seek to forge similar partnerships in order to deliver the best quality healthcare to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Meanwhile, President of the International Hospital for Children Susan Rickman said since 2002, some 267 children have received free health care, including surgical services valued at over EC$13 million. She said that her organizations will continue the partnership for the benefit of the children.

President of the Rotary Club of St. Vincent South Ashley Caine, who described the occasion as a very proud one, also pledged his Organization’s continued support to the worthy cause.

One Offshore Company, The Millennium Bank, donated US$34,000 to getting the equipment, which will enable Surgeons, and Specialists from the International Hospital for Children in the United States to consult with local medical practitioners as they seek to provide quality medical care to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (API)

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