Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA), Moleto Smith has revealed that there are nearly two dozen long-term patients who have taken up residence at the Dr D Orlando Smith Hospital.
Smith referred to these patients as “boarders” and said providing them with long-term care has contributed to the ongoing financial strain at the state-owned healthcare facility.
“Many don’t know that there’s about 20 boarders here at the hospital. The hospital is not a nursing home. But we now have to carry 24-hour around-the-clock care for individuals who should have been discharged,” Smith said yesterday while speaking about the hospital’s financial problems at a press conference hosted by the BVIHSA.
One member of the media asked Smith to state whether the BVIHSA is experiencing a financial crisis. And in trying to respond, Smith fumbled at first, but eventually stated that the Authority has been experiencing financial strain since its inception. However, he said this won’t stop them from delivering vital healthcare services to the public.
“If we talk about the financial strain on the Health Services Authority, it’s been at a crisis level for some time — from its beginning. So I wouldn’t draw an alarm like services won’t be delivered or people will be fired or anything like that. But we as a board won’t kick the can down the road or abdicate our fiduciary responsibility to do those things that are within our remit to do,” Smith explained.
He added that there are many reasons for the financial strain at the BVIHSA, including the challenge leaders are facing with balancing the delivery of service with the revenue that the Authority receives.
Despite Smith’s explanation, the member of the media continued to press him about the matter of financial constraint. Smith was asked to explain why some healthcare workers complained about unpaid salaries earlier this year.
“I would say this, I think I’ve been very clear about our financial strains but all of our stakeholders have been working diligently in supporting us around that. There are some under-current things we have to do to improve the financial sustainability of health services and healthcare overall in the BVI,” Smith explained.
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