(CNS): The Cayman Islands hospital has resumed EEG tests after a local family raised the necessary cash donation by running marathons. But CNS understands the hospital is still short of much-needed equipment. In particular, the Cayman Islands Cancer Society and the Breast Cancer Foundation are currently trying to raise half a million dollars to replace the aging mammogram machine, and North Side MLA Ezzard Miller is calling on government to use its budget surplus to pay for a new machine.
Miller said the hospital needs the important equipment now but it could take the charities a long time to raise this cash. He said the Cancer Society and other NGOs should be using the funds they raise to help people access treatment and other pressing areas of need.
“They should not have to be buying the equipment that a hospital needs to carry out its work. Government needs to step up and buy the machine,” he told CNS.
It is not unusual for charities, NGOs, non-profits and concerned citizens to raise money for specialist equipment or to help those in need. However, everyone in Cayman, by law, is supposed to have health insurance from their employers to cover their health needs and government injects millions every year into health. Nevertheless, the hospital is still short of fundamental equipment, indicating that the country’s health care system isn’t working.
Following the EEG donation, Health Services Authority CEO Lizzette Yearwood said the HSA was grateful to the Billes family, who helped to raise nearly all of the $18,000 needed to buy the medical equipment, which she said would help the hospital provide an improved service.
The EEG is a diagnostic test which records and detects abnormalities in the electrical activity of the brain. The new machine was received and installed on 10 January. The model purchased is a Neurovirtual BW11 EEG, which is a 25 channel, portable, computer-based machine convenient for use in the outpatient clinic area as well as on the inpatient units throughout the hospital.
It will be used in the investigation of patients of all age groups, from newborns to elderly patients, with seizures, head injuries, brain tumors or in other instances where brain function needs to be assessed.
Head of the Paediatric Department Dr Earl Robinson explained that the machine helps doctors observe and study brain wave patterns to pick up any abnormal brain activity that can help him diagnose underlying conditions and treat or manage them appropriately.