The North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) has announced a rotation policy for doctors, within the parallel health care system, as a means of addressing burnout during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The call, according to a NCRHA press statement, was initially made by medical chief of staff at the Couva Hospital, Dr Don Martin, and followed up by NCRHA CEO Davlin Thomas and director of health Dr Malachy Ojuro.
Apart from protecting staff against burnout, the NCRHA hopes that rotation would also serve as ‘a mechanism for capacity building and medical staff development’ as doctors take the opportunity to share their skills in different areas.
“We have consistently monitored and maintained rotations, including psychiatrists and psychologists within the system who advise us regularly—this is not just for the benefit of our doctors,” said Dr Ojuro. “The benefits of ensuring our doctors are well rested also redound to the overall patient care experience and that is our major objective—ensuring that patients receive the best possible care.
“Everyone has to do it. It is not an advantage that we give to some people and not others. We have always ensured that systematically, on a routinely scheduled basis, every medical doctor is given that opportunity.
“I’ve already received messages from some doctors expressing their gratitude for this temporary reprieve that would have been facilitated through the rotation.”
Thomas said the NCRHA is not only committed to ensuring the well-being of patients, but of ‘doctors, nurses, technical and administrative staff as well’.
“These are unprecedented challenging times for us all, but we are prepared and ready to do everything we can to protect the lives of every individual in this country,” said Thomas. “[…] I wish to take this opportunity again to commend the staff at our Covid-19 facilities for their unwavering efforts. I know it has been a testing time, but we will continue to rise to challenge. Our frontline healthcare workers are heroes.
“NCRHA is currently engaging the logistics and implementation works to commission and open a field hospital in Couva, while simultaneously engaging the vaccine roll out tomorrow of the Sinopharm vaccine. We have every reason to believe that everything will go as planned.”
Editor’s Note: Dr Don Morris has denied being the brain-thrust behind the NCRHA’s decision to rotate doctors and is against the idea.
The T&T Medical Association also claimed that the NCRHA decision could lead to ‘the demoralisation of health care workers’.