Commonwealth helps Seychelles boost health care


29-March-2012

The two-member team – Dr Magna Aidoo who heads the health unit and Seychellois Peggy Vidot – who works as a health advisor within the Commonwealth’s health section –  were here for a week. Their mission is to determine the issues and challenges of our health care system and come up with recommendations.

During a recent press conference at the Sheikh Khalifa’s diagnostic centre, Dr Aidoo and Mrs Vidot said they met senior officials of the Ministry of Health including the outgoing Health Minister Dr Erna Athanasius and the new one, Mitcy Larue.
They also got the chance to speak to senior hospital staff, consultants, pharmacists, nurses and human resources personnel as well as patients and other members of the public.

Dr Aidoo said she has noticed there is a great level of commitment among the staff.
“We had a very wide picture of their concerns and challenges,” she said.

“But it is vital to say the health staff feel when a patient is accessing their service it is their responsibility to take care of them.”

She said practitioners felt the environment in which they give the services also influences what they do.
Dr Aidoo also said they discussed the need to have more resources which include equipment.

“There are a number of infrastructure in place but if built on or improved will do a good job to allow practitioners do their work more efficiently,” said Dr Aidoo.

She stressed the need for a midwifery tutor in Seychelles, adding that training is also needed for other professionals within the health system.

She spoke about a strategy to help retain staff. “Many Seychellois health professionals are going overseas to work and this is another major concern.”

She said retention does not depend on money alone, but also access to training and people being valued and having enough equipment to do their work well.

Mrs Aidoo said during their mission people have been very receptive and open and thanked them all for willingly taking part in the exercise.

Mrs Vidot said during the one week they got the chance to look at the health system from other people’s perspectives.
She said Seychelles health care is not new to her, having contributed towards it in the past.

“There have been many changes, some for the better but we still have to continue to pursue excellence in whatever we do and there are always areas that require improvement.”

 It is vital to realise that “we do have challenges and in many instances these challenges can be managed,” she said.

Mrs Vidot said they hope with whatever help the ministry can get from the Commonwealth secretariat and other partners, shortfalls can be addressed to give Seychellois the best health care.

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