The Inter-Health Canada-run TCI Hospital has announced what it describes as a gradual resumption of visiting consultancy.
The entity made the announcement in a statement on Tuesday. The following is the statement from TCI Hospital:
The Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital is pleased to announce the gradual resumption of additional visiting consultant services over the next several months, given the relaxation of COVID-19 related travel and quarantine restrictions on physicians in some countries abroad.
Unfortunately, some countries are experiencing the COVID-19 third wave. Some countries also strongly discourage travel and have a mandatory quarantine upon return. Our visiting consultants are from North America, United Kingdom, and the Caribbean.
Oncology and Urology services have been operational since April 2020 through virtual consultations. Due to the high-risk nature of patients, these clinics were prioritized for continuation early in the pandemic. There are some services for which virtual consultations would not be clinically beneficial and must be delivered via face-to-face examinations.
Cardiology services resumed in February 2021 through virtual consultations, and some diagnostics needed to support the service have been available locally. A further virtual clinic session is scheduled for June. The transition back to in-person consultations for several of our visiting consultant services is dependent on quarantine requirements in the specialists' home country, which have made travel to TCI away from their primary place of employment impossible thus far.
Neurology services resumed in March 2021 with in-person consultations following changes to the travel and quarantine restrictions in the specialist's country of origin. The service will continue as usual, and visits have been planned for the rest of the year.
Ophthalmology services for patients in need of surgical procedures related to the eye are scheduled to resume in June. Patients will be processed in the order of clinical priority, and this service is traditionally in high demand. The specialists will also conduct as many outpatient clinic consultations as possible during the visit.
Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) is the next specialist service under active planning. Plastic Surgery services are primarily elective and remain under review. An update will be provided once these services resume.
Our visiting specialists continue to monitor the COVID-19 activity levels, vaccination rates, travel advisories, flight availability, and post-travel quarantine requirements internationally and in their home countries.
The TCI hospital plans to increase the frequency of specialist visits and/or extend the duration of regular clinic sessions, where possible and justified, to provide greater patient access and compensate for the unavoidable interruption of services.
Patients are encouraged to visit their primary care physician or the emergency department for any medical concerns that may arise during the waiting period.
The hospital extends deep appreciation to patients for their understanding as it navigates the COVID-19 pandemic environment.