Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kenneth George, has praised the level of skill and efficiency in the ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) Department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
He said this was evidenced by the decrease in the number of patients applying to use the Medical Aid Scheme to seek medical treatment overseas and a decline in the length of hospital stays.
Speaking at the opening of the 26th annual conference of the Caribbean Association of Otolaryngology last Tuesday at Radisson Aquatica Resort, Dr. George noted that the average length of stay for ENT patients in 2017 was 4.5 days compared with the overall average of seven days for the hospital.
Describing this as testimony to the cadre of well-trained staff and the use of new biotechnologies and medico-technologies, he disclosed that the continued improvement was also achieved through a deliberate effort by the department to move to a system of day care and short stay surgery for the majority of patients.
He explained: “The process starts with the preparation of the patient for surgery in the outpatient clinic setting so that most admissions to hospital can take place on the same day of surgery. This method is also used in such branches of surgery as general, ophthalmology and gynaecology and I look forward to a continued decrease in hospital stay for the majority of surgical patients.”
The Chief Medical Officer submitted that the “infrequent use” of the Medical Aid Scheme, established several years ago to assist patients who needed treatment overseas which was not available locally, was further evidence of the skills of the ENT surgeons here.
“This speaks to the collective skills of the personnel involved and demonstrates that the overwhelming bulk of problems encountered are diagnosed and treated locally,” he maintained.
He praised the organisers of the conference, noting that the benefits of such meetings included a staff which was knowledgeable and up-to-date with the latest advances in their specialty.