Making Caribbean Hospitals “Smart”


A new program to target vulnerable hospitals

By the Caribbean Journal staff

A new project by the Pan American Health Organization is promoting “safe, green and smart” hospitals in the Caribbean.

Nearly seven out of every 10 hospitals in Latin America and the Caribbean are located in disaster-prone areas, making it all the more important to ensure that they can operate during disasters, the PAHO said.

The Smart Hospitals Program, in partnership with the World Health Organization, recently launched a new phase that targets 12 hospitals in Dominica, Granada, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“Natural disasters can have a major impact on the health sector and on people’s lives, and we need to ensure that health facilities are built to resist disasters while also being environmentally friendly,” said Dana Van Alphen, coordinator of the program. “A bonus is that hospitals that participate in this program also see their operating costs decline and produce less pollution.”

A “smart” hospital is one that “links structural and operational safety with green interventions, at a reasonable cost-benefit ratio,” according to the PAHO.