News Five spoke with Principal Public Health Inspector at Ministry of Health, John Bodden, who explained the protocols being followed when a tourist requires hospitalization.

John Bodden, Principal Public Health Inspector, Ministry of Health & Wellness

“In terms of this medical emergency protocol, there is a form that is called Seaport Medical Emergency Referral form and that is a form that is filled out by the physician on board the vessel and that would give us all the particulars in regards to the individual the patient’s name, the age, the condition in which the person is found and why they are requesting a disembarkation of that individual. Of course, this is important during the COVID epidemic because we need to know what cases we are bringing on shore and whether we would have the total capacity to ensure the safety of those individuals while they’re coming off, in terms of preventing any spread, if it would be COVID. And so whenever we get that, it would be reviewed by the Regional Manager and then an approval or a denial would be issued. So that is what is done, in essence. Of course, the necessary coordination between the health facility, between the emergency response team, for example, BERT, that would be made by the agent that is responsible for the ship during its time within the country.”

Channel 5