The BVI Health Services Authority is in the process of being accredited and is scheduled to be reviewed next month, Health and Social Development Minister Carvin Malone told the Standing Finance Committee during its April deliberations.

The accreditation is “a very important step in the life of the BVIHSA,” which has a staff of 620 people, he said, according to a report on the closed-door SFC meeting.

He added that he would seek to build the BVIHSA’s capacity in the interim.

Premier Andrew Fahie said that the budget included an estimated additional $2.5 million for the information system that will aid in the BVIHSA’s accreditation.

Anegada health care

Also during the deliberations, Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Minister Vincent Wheatley revealed that medical services on Anegada would be discontinued on Mondays and that services would only be provided from 9:30 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Junior Minister for Tourism Shereen Flax-Charles inquired about which “state-of-the-art evacuation mechanisms” would be available to residents “as it is very disheartening the way persons have to be transported when they are ill,” according to the report.

BVIHSA CEO Dr. Ronald Georges acknowledged that medical evacuation on Anegada has long been a “vexing issue.”

In the past, he said, the authority had planned to install helipads, but helipads without the necessary helicopters would be an inadequate fix.

Petrona Davies, the permanent secretary in the Ministry ofHealth and Social Development, suggested purchasing an ambulance boat, which she said would cost around $400,000.

Premier Andrew Fahie requested more information about the proposed vessel, which Ms. Davies promised to provide.