CHARLESTOWN, Nevis (NIA) -- Last Friday was an historic day in Nevis, with the opening of the first cancer treatment centre by Hematology and Oncology Associates of the Caribbean, Inc. The medical facility will be run by medical hematologist and oncologist Dr Erole Hobdy.
A specialist in the care of adult patients with various cancers and blood disorders, Hobdy has been in private practice in the US Virgin Islands since 2006. She is the owner of the Virgin Islands Hematology and Oncology practice and has private offices in St Thomas and St Croix.
She decided to extend her practice to Nevis to accommodate her patients from St Kitts and Nevis, having seen that these persons needed the support of their families while they received chemotherapy.
“It has always been my vision and my passion to be of service to my fellow Caribbean people… and to provide good quality oncology services and affordable cancer care to people throughout the Caribbean; however, I have not done this alone,” Hobdy said during the official opening ceremony.
She acknowledged several individuals in the Ministry of Health who were instrumental in assisting her with the establishment of the hematology and oncology centre.
Hobdy said she would have the assistance of a fellow oncologist who would be available for the Friday clinics to see cancer patients at the facility.
“This is just the beginning of greater things to come. I just see endless possibilities,” she said.
Meantime, Minister of Health on Nevis Mark Brantley, in his remarks, welcomed Hobdy to the island and pledged the government’s support of her practice.
“I am here to welcome you, Dr Hobdy, and to say you have the untrammelled support of the Ministry of Health. Whatever we can do to demonstrate that we care about our people, that we care about the healthcare that is being delivered to our people, that we will be available to you… I can assure you that so long as God gives me life, you will have my support and the support of the ministry.”
The health minister used the opportunity to outline a number of lifestyle choices which in his view, could help to minimise the incidence of contracting cancer. He reminded those present that in the event one contracted cancer, it did not have to be a death sentence.
“I myself learned that it doesn’t have to be a death sentence, that with early detection and with treatment, such as that being brought by Dr Hobdy and her associates, that we in Nevis can have, if not a cancer-free society, certainly a society where our people do not need to die from this disease,” he said.