Minister of Health Hon. St Clair Prince said government is doubling efforts to tackle the rising cases and prevalence of chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD’s) with a focused approach for 2023.
The Health Minister pointed out that NCD’s are responsible for most amputations and are the leading cause of death in this country. In fact, the Minister indicated that for the period 2014 to 2016 there were a total of 170 amputations; 69 amputations below the knee and 101 amputations above the knee.
“I think Vincentians are not taking NCD’s seriously enough, we haven’t been speaking about it enough and those who have been listening, have not been paying attention…our approach to NCD’s has to change,” Prince insisted.
In tabling the Bill for an Act to establish the Medical Laboratories Council in Parliament today, Minister Prince said Vincentians need to focus on issues such as diet, alcohol abuse, tobacco etc., as lifestyle choices impact heavily the cases of NCD’s.
“It is a killer, and it has killed and will kill, it has killed more people than Covid-19,” Prince noted.
The thrust to deal with NCD’s as well as the Bill to establish a Medical Laboratories Council, comes alongside other initiatives in health including the decentralization of radiography services and laboratory services, upgrading polyclinics, health centres and hospitals; the expansion of lab facilities, health reform, health delivery, mammogram services, the procurement of an MRI Machine and the construction of the Acute Care Hospital at Arnos Vale.
Prince surmised, “We are decentralizing, upgrading and modernizing.”
Government is also transforming the Enhams clinic into a National Wellness Centre, which will be retrofitted with particular focus on NCD’s, especially Diabetes.