Staff at the hospital on St Helena have been praised for the way they cope with challenging working conditions, by departing medic Dr Ahmad Risk.
He told Saint FM: “The front line staff – the doctors and nurses – do an amazing job under what I regard as very difficult conditions.
“Medical care is a very good standard for the resources available. It is exceedingly good. They do a very good job. And it works for the island.”
But he warned that the arrival of large numbers of tourists – by island standards – would lead to a demand for better facilities for those who need care.
He said: “If you are attracting tourists from places where healthcare is funded on a different level, there will be a need to apply international standards that I’m afraid we don’t meet at the moment.
“Big strides have been made. Everthing can be improved.
“The resources of the island are not infinite and that will always be the case, so you have to manage your resources intelligently to extract the maximum output. On the whole that works very well.
“The resources of the island are not infinite and that will always be the case, so you have to manage your resources intelligently to extract the maximum output.
“It works on the goodwill of the front line staff who do the best they can, and they do that extremely well.”
Asked what could be done to improve the situation, he said bluntly: “Build the airport.”
Then he added: “You need money. Quite a bit.”
As it is, the health directorate has been required to accept cuts in its budget.
Dr Risk said: “Everywhere is being asked to cut; not just on St Helena but where I come from in the UK, so we have to cut our cloth.”