Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 03, 2016 (SKNIS): The first Oncology Unit in St. Kitts and Nevis will be opened in a matter of weeks at the Joseph N. France General Hospital.
“I’m very happy and very excited and I think every [national] should be happy and excited also,” said Medical Chief of Staff at the Joseph N. France General Hospital, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, on this week’s edition of Working for You.
Presently, cancer patients residing in the Federation have to travel overseas to Antigua and Barbuda or some other island to access cancer care. The establishment of the unit will offer locals an affordable alternative.
“It eliminates the cost of airfare, the cost of hotel stay, the cost of other family members traveling with [the patient], so right away you have cost benefits there,” Dr. Wilkinson added. “We will have our oncologist here on island.”
Most studies suggest that having a strong support network is important for cancer patients during the treatment and recovery phases. The family is normally the first unit that a person turns to for emotional strength when diagnosed with cancer and being able to access local care, makes this beneficial for residents. Additionally, a number of support groups have been formed locally that cancer patients and survivors can access and researchers state that being in familiar surroundings also helps healing and recovery.
“Lives are going to be saved because of this,” Dr. Wilkinson stressed, referring to the establishment of the Oncology Unit.