(CMR) Grenada's Health Minister Nickolas Steele has announced that an ethics committee will be set up shortly to decide on who will be hospitalized if the country's hospital system is flooded with COVID-19 victims.
Steel said the committee would comprise individuals from a medical background. The decision to set up a committee comes as Grenada continues to experience a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalization.
The Health Minister said, “It’s time that we put that in place and hope that we never use it, what is referred to as an ethics committee — is a group of individuals who will decide when the hospital gets inundated who gets let in and does not.”
According to Now Grenada, a medical official explained that the ethics committee is “a body of persons established by a hospital or health care institution and assigned to consider, debate, study, take action on or report on ethical issues that arise in patient care.”
“We do have to have that setup; I do hope that it is never used,” the health minister said.
Steele explained that the island is into phase 2 of its contingency plan. Phase 1 was setting up a special unit with 15 to 23 beds, and phase 2 is setting up an entire floor at the General Hospital that will accommodate between 15 to 47 patients. That floor is already set up at the General Hospital, Now Grenada reported.
Phase 3 of the contingency plan will see the converting of the 26-bed Princess Alice Hospital in the eastern parish of St Andrew into the designated COVID-19 hospital.
Grenada has been experiencing a spike in COVID-19 infections and admissions since last month. As of September 10, there were 1,760 active local cases due to community spread of the virus, and 56 persons were hospitalized. The country has recorded 22 deaths.