Children often need to be transferred abroad for cancer treatment because of a shortage of resources and medication, according to Dr Shivon Belle Jarvis, head of the pediatric department at the Sir Lester Bird Mount St. John’s Medical Centre.
The comment was addressed by Melford Nicholas, Minister of Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications, and Information Technology, during a Cabinet Press Briefing on Thursday.
He explained that he is unaware of the situation because he hasn’t been in cabinet for the past two weeks, but he did assure the public that he will delve a little deeper into it this coming week.
“In addition to that, the minister of health was not with us yesterday (Wednesday 22nd September 2022). He was one of those who had travelled with the Prime Minister to attend a discussion with Oasis dealing with climate change, and this is one that we will have to punt into the new week, to be able to get some feedback for the public on this matter,” he said.
The purchase of equipment for sonar therapy and the sonar bursting of kidney stones was brought to the cabinet’s attention by the Minister of Health Molwyn Joseph, he said, demonstrating that health care remains a high priority for the government of Antigua and Barbuda.
“But I can assure you that health care remains one of the top priorities of this government. If there is going to be a need for procurement of additional equipment, it will have the attention of not only the minister but the cabinet.
“I would go as far as to say more recently, we would have discussed several issues dealing with renal care, ” he explained, stating that there have been many instances where persons have had to travel to Trinidad to get restorative treatment for things like kidney stones.
“We would have looked at the procurement of that type of equipment and technology to allow the sonar treatment and the sonar busting of these stones,” he said. “So if there is going to be a need for additional equipment, I’m sure the minister of health will bring it at the appropriate time before the cabinet for its consideration and allocation of funding.”