Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 15, 2022: The addition of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine at the Joseph Nathaniel France (JNF) General Hospital will significantly add to the provision of quality healthcare in St. Kitts and Nevis. The acquisition of this machine was a high priority for the now Prime Minister and Minister of Health, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, who assumed office on Saturday, August 06, 2022 At the first official Cabinet Meeting held on Monday, August 15, 2022, at Government Headquarters, PM Drew indicated that the machine will be in St. Kitts shortly. “We have promised the MRI and the money has been allocated for the MRI and we should have it in short order. I have already received the information from the hospital as to the type of MRI and so forth and so we will move quickly,” said Dr. Drew. “Just so you know, just to put the MRI in a room is as big as a bedroom and that can easily and quickly be constructed. We have our own professionals here and the MRI should be up and running.” Prime Minister Dr. Drew said that the MRI Machine will be affordable for all. “I have indicated to them that the cost has to be as low as possible and no one will be turned back because they lack the financial resources to get an MRI done. MRI has now become a mainstay in medical practice and as a high-income modern country, our hospital should have that available in quick order as well,” he said. During the Swearing-in Ceremony of the Members of Cabinet on Saturday, August 13, 2022, Prime Minister Dr. Drew said that healthcare in the Federation needs to be upgraded. “It is clear that healthcare in St. Kitts and Nevis needs a major overhaul. As your Minister of Health, I endeavour to ensure that healthcare is vastly improved for all of us. From patient care to nursing; from increasing supplies of prescription medication to more advanced equipment; from better wages for our healthcare workers to improved healthcare facilities,” he said “You deserve better and your Labour-led government will provide better. You will no longer have to go to a biomedical center if that is your choice.”
Then Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris, during the December 21, 2021 edition of “Leadership Matters” said that an M.R.I. machine is to be outfitted at the JNF General Hospital and that several critical components have been included in the 2022 Budget to help further strengthen the health care system of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“We hear concern regarding the cost of healthcare and we are mindful that Team Unity is working vigorously to deliver a national health insurance policy… In this regard, the cost of healthcare since 2015 has been a matter of concern to us as a Government,” Prime Minister Harris said.
“As a result of the ongoing concerns, we have been able in this Budget 2022 to include measures that would bring major relief to the citizens and residents taking health services at our hospitals. In this regard, I want to make reference to the cost of haemodialysis treatment and cancer treatment which we propose in 2022 to reduce significantly by fifty (50) percent. This will bring significant relief to those who are suffering and are unable to afford the cost of treatment. An MRI machine will be outfitted at the Joseph N. France General Hospital in 2022,” said then PM Harris Magnetic resonance imaging is a diagnostic exam that uses a combination of a large magnet, radio frequencies and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. MRIs are very useful for examining the brain and spinal cord.