Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 08, 2016 (SKNIS): During his 2017 Budget presentation, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, acting in his capacity as Minister of Finance, said that the delivery of healthcare continuing into next year is possible through a collaborative effort.

“And whatever may be the failings, we are delivering to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Prime Minister Harris said. I thank the Honourable Minister and Member of St. Christopher #8 for his leadership, as equally I thank the Senator, Minister Wendy Phipps, for her work in this regard, and to thank all of the health professionals who helped make those successes happen.”

The Prime Minister made reference to the opening of two new health facilities earlier this week.

“We spent a lot of time, Monday and Tuesday, talking about healthcare, and doing it against the backdrop of delivering,” he said. “Talk is cheap, delivering required a lot more than talk. Cameron Wilkinson said delivering required organization, it required teamwork, it required pooling resources, and it required consistent application. And so if Monday we could open the Mental Health Day Treatment Centre at Lime Kiln and come Tuesday open another facility to bring relief to the suffering families with respect to cancer, it tells you that we are doing good for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.”

The need for qualified professionals, particularly in the healthcare system, was addressed.

“We know that our healthcare system will always require support from those abroad and from those at home,” Prime Minister Harris said, identifying that small countries will sometimes experience a shortage of skills. “We are going to train and prepare more people and encourage more people with their skills to come home and to serve. That is why we thank persons like Dr. (Bichara) Sahely who were there being specialists, have come back to serve. That is why we thank people like Cameron Wilkinson who came back to serve. We thank them, we understand the temptation, especially when you excel, that you are being lured from the institution of training to stay over there.”

Other deliverables mentioned by the Prime Minister and outlined in the 2017 Budget include the return of an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Ambulance Base to the recently upgraded and reopened Mary Charles Hospital. Healthcare professionals and workers who assisted with the upgrade of all healthcare facilities were thanked. Private partners were also commended for their continued contributions to the healthcare system.