Prime Minister, the Honourable Dr Terrance Drew, participated in a virtual interview with DJ Jefroy Morrishaw on March 12, 2023. He addressed the concerns of the public as well as recalled the achievements of St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party. He emphasised government plans for the welfare of the public of St Kitts and Nevis. Included in these plans is the idea to build a climate-smart hospital in St Kitts and Nevis.
During the interview, the Prime Minister highlighted that the construction of a climate-smart hospital in St Kitts and Nevis could build the trust of visitors. People need assurance that the country has adequate medical services.
“We want to boost our private health offering so that people can travel from the United States and come to St Kitts and Nevis to have procedures done. That is why we also have a state-of-the-art hospital that will help in St Kitts that people have confidence.”
What is a climate-smart hospital?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), hospitals and health systems can build resilience while reducing their own climate impact by implementing a ‘climate-smart’ approach that focuses on both adaptation and mitigation. The aim is for hospitals to be ‘Green climate-smart health facilities’.
“Climate change is much more than an environmental issue. It poses a serious threat to our health and survival. It impacts all of us, no matter where we live. The health of humanity is directly related to the health of our environment. We depend on our environment for everything we are and everything we have – the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink.”
Green, climate-smart healthcare
Green, climate-smart health care focuses on:
1. Climate-resilient healthcare facilities are able to withstand impacts of all types of structural hazards both structural and functional. They should mitigate the impacts of climate change and operate without interruption. This includes sheltering patients safely and providing community health services either during or after extreme weather or natural disasters.
2. Low-carbon healthcare facilities reduce their carbon footprint. This can be done through energy-efficient building design, mechanical and electrical systems, building operations and clean renewable energy generation. The implementation of low-carbon procurement, transportation, food, water and waste management all contribute towards a greener facility.
3. Green and healthy hospitals protect the lives and health of patients, health workers and their communities. Reducing their environmental footprint doesn’t come at the cost of clinical excellence, a climate-smart healthcare facility can do both.
Why St Kitts and Nevis needs climate-smart hospitals.
Prime Minister Drew said it needs to be a mandate to deal with the issues of climate change. He mentioned that critical issues arise when it comes to climate change as the country could be affected by stronger hurricanes. Also, the increase in the temperature also creates problems for the infrastructure. Hospitals are having leaking issues due to climate change.
He added that he is determined to modernise the health sector. He assured listeners that his administration is working to quickly upgrade the healthcare system. This is being done with new buildings and equipment as well as a focus on the quality of healthcare delivery. The aim is that the hospital is completed within his term and that citizens don’t need to travel outside to get quality healthcare services.
“I’ve also met with the nurses, and we have put structures in place to make sure that we improve the quality of delivery of healthcare. And I want to thank all the health workers. Nurses and doctors have been working very hard in their own right to put forward a healthcare system for people,” added Prime Minister Drew.