Find Health and Medical expertise in Grenada

A 2000 report by the World Health Organization stated that Grenada had one of the best health care systems in the Caribbean. The health care system is organised and run by the Ministry of Health (MOH), which in recent years has focused on providing citizens with excellent primary care. As a result, primary health care services are largely free of charge and available at public health centres. A small fee is charged for medicine, lab work or other diagnostics, but fees are waived for the elderly, children and the poor. While there is no national health insurance, all Grenadians are required to participate in a social security programme, the National Insurance Scheme, which covers citizens against work-related injuries.

In order to improve health and minimise the increasing costs of health care, Grenada has placed a lot of emphasis on primary health care and preventative measures. There are around seven medical centres and clinics in the country. St George’s General Hospital is the main facility and there is a small private hospital in the St Paul district that has a 24-hour emergency room and can arrange air ambulance evacuation.  There are also two small rural hospitals: the Princess Alice Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital. All serious medical problems require air evacuation to a country with more comprehensive medical facilities, though provision at the General Hospital has improved in recent years. The nearest decompression chambers are in Trinidad and Barbados.

There are more than 20 pharmaceutical companies in Grenada, although the country acquires most of its pharmaceuticals through the sub-regional programme managed by the Eastern Caribbean Drug Service. This ensures that regional standards are reviewed annually and revised periodically, and that essential drugs are available on a timely basis. Pharmacies are generally well supplied, although not all prescription medications are always available.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) accounted for an estimated 81% of all mortality in Grenada in 2008. In 2008 the most prevalent NCDs were cardiovascular diseases (34%). Cancer, diabetes and non-communicable variants of respiratory diseases contributed 21%, 9% and 3% to total mortality, respectively. NCDs are beginning to pose a major challenge to health efforts in Grenada, their rise likely being exacerbated by poverty and poor diet in the lowest-income communities. In the post-2015 development agenda, the importance of lifestyle changes to combat the rise of such diseases is likely to feature high on Grenada’s health development plans. Communicable diseases along with maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions in Grenada accounted for an estimated 13% of all mortality in 2008. A government paper on HIV/AIDS reported a cumulative 517 HIV cases (237 of which resulted in deaths) in the period 1984–2013. Estimated incidence of tuberculosis (TB) fell slightly overall during the period 1990–2013 and overall estimated mortality (when mortality data excludes cases comorbid with HIV) also fell slightly overall during this time.

Government expenditure

In 2013 government expenditure on health was 3% per cent of GDP. In the most recent survey, conducted between 1997 and 2009, there were 98 doctors, and 398 nurses and midwives per 100,000 people. Additionally, in the period 2007–12, 100% of births were attended by qualified health staff and in 2013, 94% of one-year-olds were immunised with a dose of measles. In 2012, 97% of the country’s population had access to an improved water source and 98% had access to adequate sanitation facilities.

More than half of health care in Grenada (53%) was paid for by patients or funded by other non-governmental entities – such as private insurers, charities or employers – in 2012. Total health expenditure constituted 6.2% of GDP in 2012, of which 47% was covered by the government.

Grenada was not an original signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, but acceded to it in 1991 and has written the covenant into law. It includes ‘the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health’. The covenant commits signees to providing healthy and hygienic environmental conditions, controlling epidemic diseases, improving child health and facilitating access to health services without discrimination.

Health and Medical organisations in Grenada
St George's University School of Medicine