St. John’s, Antigua, (September 15, 2022) – Officials at Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre (SLBMC) will activate phase two of its Hurricane Management Plan starting immediately in response to threats associated with Tropical Storm Fiona.

All outpatient clinic services, non-urgent admissions and elective surgeries have been cancelled. Affected patients will be contacted by a SLBMC representative within the next 48-hours to reschedule appointments.

With the impending arrival of Tropical Storm Fiona, SLBMC’s usual visiting hours have been suspended for Friday, 16 September, 2022. Individuals desiring to drop off items for their loved ones may do so between the hours of 5 am – 9 am.

“It is customary for the hospital to operate at a state of readiness, so families can rest assured that all patients will continue to receive the care they need,” said Dr. Albert Duncan, SLBC Medical Director. “If that means surgery, we can do that; the hospital has enough clinical and non-clinical supplies to ride out the storm and its aftermath.”

The hospital has already begun matching staff with patient needs, ensuring that doctors of each discipline are on site. Access to the hospital’s Emergency Department during and immediately after the storm will be on level one, the door on the far-right side of the patient entrance.

During this time, patients and visitors are kindly requested to park in the visitor parking areas closest to the Emergency Department.

“Continuity of care is very important to us, and as such, we have ensured that all of the essential areas and services will be manned on a 24-hour basis,” said Gary Thomas, Director of Administration with responsibility for Disaster Management at SLBMC.

“Inpatient services will continue. Our Emergency Department will also remain open as usual but we are asking persons not to risk going out in the storm and coming to the hospital if it’s not an absolute emergency.”