Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — Medical Chief of Staff Dr. Cameron Wilkinson has placed on record the commendable job that the Royal St. Christopher Police Force (RSCPF) and the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF) did in providing hospital security following a recent shooting incident involving a reputed gang figure.
“When I got there [JNF] I could see that there was evidence of good crowd control, in that the crowd was kept at bay outside of the hospital,” Dr. Wilkenson stated. “I was escorted in and once I got into the emergency room, I saw security personnel at all of the entrances and exits. We were able to look after the persons in the emergency room without any need for worry.”
The measures provided an added layer of security to ensure staff, patients and visitors at JNF were kept safe.
“We were able to move freely back and forth between the emergency room and the radiology department without any interventions from persons – or obstructions from any outsiders,” he noted. “I went into the operating theatre and when I was leaving in the wee hours of the morning, I was happy to see that the security forces were still there. So I just wanted to take the opportunity to congratulate them for a job well done and hope that we continue to see this, if we have anymore unfortunate incidents.”
In addition to the efforts of the security forces, the Ministry of Health, along with the hospital administration, have been executing certain short-term and long-term plans to improve security at JNF.
“If you were to visit the hospital you would see that there is secure fencing being placed around the entire hospital compound, so that one cannot freely enter the hospital compound from the back or the side anymore,” the Medical Chief of Staff stated. “We have some security barriers in front of the hospital, so that we can control who comes into the hospital. We have cameras in place so that we can monitor persons. We are controlling the visiting hours and the number of persons who visit each patient.”
A number of security personnel are stationed at the hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week and short-term plans also include a strategy to restrict visitors to the specific ward that they identify that they are going to visit. This is expected to commence in the near future.
Minister responsible for Health Hon Eugene Hamilton and Minister of State for Health Honourable Wendy Phipps have stated that they are grateful for the heightened security services provided at the Joseph N. France General Hospital as it bodes well in providing a safe environment for patients as well as for medical professionals to carry out their duties.