Minister gives overview of key health issues


Health Minister Mitcy Larue revealed this information in a recent interview.

Mrs Larue, who was appointed health minister five months ago, also talks about the nursing situation, the high prevalence of some chronic diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, spinal problems, the blood bank and the ambulance service among other issues.

Of the 38 doctors, two are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), three are in the Maternity Ward as gynaecologists and obstetrics, three in the Paediatric Ward, four in the Accident and Emergency Unit.

Six of the Seychelles doctors are involved in general or specialised surgery, such as urology or ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat).
Specialised services, where five of the Seychellois doctors are involved, include radiology, ophthalmology and radiology. There is one Seychellois psychiatric doctor.

The minister was responding to a question about newly qualified Seychellois doctors and what they are presently doing.

Besides the 38 Seychellois doctors, 14 of whom are naturalised citizens, several expatriate doctors also work with the health ministry.

On the nursing situation, Mrs Larue said the ministry is reviewing the scheme of service for nurses and midwives, while a few have resigned for various reasons.

She said it is hoped this will address some of the concerns of nurses such as professional development opportunities.

Altogether, there are now 398 nurses and midwives of whom 23 are in management positions.

 Over the past year, 28 have left the service – 22 resigned, two retired, two were transferred to other public sector organisations and two others have had their service terminated for misconduct.

On cancer, diabetes and cardiac illnesses, which are on the increase, Mrs Larue said her ministry is concerned with the high incidence of non-communicable diseases. She noted that tobacco is one of the main factors for this.

She added that several important studies are ongoing as the ministry requires evidence to support its policy decisions.
Mrs Larue said it was obvious that Seychellois are inadequately informed about spinal problems and the best ways to avoid them. She said there are presently three orthopaedic surgeons, including one Chinese doctor who is familiar with spinal surgery and in fact performed an operation early this month.

She noted that an Indian team who came a second time for knee replacement surgery said though the set-up was not state-of-the-art they carried out their surgeries uneventfully. 

Mrs Larue said the ministry is not too happy with the facilities and the state of our operating rooms.

“That is why we can’t wait to have all of them redone. We have plans to build new ones.”

On the ambulance service, she said there are nine ambulances in the country, of which two are based in Victoria, two on Praslin, one at Anse Royale, one at Anse Boileau, one on La Digue and two others are on stand-by.

“Definitely, we need more ambulances as we need one for Beau Vallon, one for Anse Aux Pins, one for Béolière and one for English River. She appealed to sponsors to donate generously as this might help save many lives.

The health minister also confirmed that the blood bank at the hospital is at a critical level. She said numerous attempts have been made to retain current donors and recruit new ones, but due to certain barriers, the process has always been a challenge.
“As yet, the blood bank is struggling to meet the demand for blood transfusion.

 Once more, I would like to appeal to everyone to come forward and donate blood which can save any life – your life, your friend’s or relatives’.


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