Newly appointed Minister of Health, Nickolas Steele has dismissed allegations made by the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that there is a problem with the quality of oxygen produced at a newly commissioned plant at the St. George’s General hospital.
Congress spokesperson on Health, Senator Franka Bernadine who is also the island’s past Minister of Education charged at a press conference that the oxygen produced at the plant was not 100% genuine.
In refuting the claim at a post-Cabinet press briefing, Minister Steele said the problem at the plant was never an issue about the quality of the oxygen.
The senior government minister told reporters that the oxygen plant at the hospital was only producing 50% of its oxygen capacity because of a malfunction in the plant.
He spoke of the problem resulting in government having to go back to the previous local private supplier to get an adequate supply of stocks.
“…There is no issue with the quality of oxygen being supplied by the private supplier or by the oxygen plant. Since then the initial supplier of that plant, we have had communications with them, there was an issue as to whether the malfunctioning plant was under warranty or not. Regardless of that, steps have been made for them to be down here in Grenada within the next week or two. Funds have been allocated for the purchasing of the part for the plant to get back up to 100% capacity,” he said.
According to Minister Steele, the technicians that will be coming down to Grenada shortly will install the part at the oxygen plant and also help in upgrading the X-Ray machine at the General Hospital.
“There is a part that needs to be purchased,, funds have been allocated for that, suppliers have been informed so we have ordered the part and the funds will be sent if they have not been sent already through the Ministry of Finance to the suppler to get our X Ray machine back up to 100% capacity and the expectation that we as a people have on our X-Ray department,” he said.
The minister also addressed the X-Ray machine to be brought into the Princess Alice hospital as part of an initiative involving GRENLEC and the Benjamin family in St. Andrew’s.
He said the installation of this X Ray machine would be done differently than was the case with the one at the General Hospital.
“Lessons have been learnt from the previous installation done at General Hospital where the X ray machine was ordered and then the facility was built to accommodate it. In this instance, it will be done the other way around – the facility will be built for the X Ray machine and when it meets the satisfaction of the supplier, the financier, the Government of Grenada as well as the technicians within the X Ray Department of Health Care, we will then order that X Ray machine,” he explained.
Minister Steele also disclosed that the technicians who are due in the country any time now will also help to upgrade and recalibrate the ultrasound machines at the General Hospital.