The vision of the Healthcare Information Resources Centre is to focus on the delivery of a quality, cost-effective and a timely healthcare information service that will support, facilitate and maximize the provision of optimal healthcare to patients and promote healthy living for the general population.


The mission of the Healthcare Information Resources Centre is to promote and deliver a client-focused, cost-effective and efficient quality healthcare information service in an equitable manner, by staff committed to excellence and professionalism.


In February 1999, the Reading Room of the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) was upgraded, relocated to a larger facility, and renamed The Healthcare Information Resources Centre (HIRC). Within three months, staffing expanded from one person to three; a local area network was installed; and services were established for Internet-based healthcare textbooks, journals and databases.

Our resources are primarily Internet-based, and are provided for persons affiliated with Tobago Healthcare Services. We hope, however, that information on our web-page will enable other healthcare providers, as well as the general public, to more easily benefit from the wealth of free information on the Internet for current health issues, treatment and promotion. Services may be requested by telephone, in person or via email.


We conduct research and provide assistance to users with the selection and use of resources available at HIRC and on the Internet. Please contact us to submit your service request


We conduct research and provide periodic updates on health-related issues, training programs and research projects requested by healthcare providers and managers.


We provide a special rush service for information requests related to urgent clinical care. This includes research of Internet databases and resources as well as photocopying and delivery of selected documents.


We attempt to locate and obtain copies of documents which include patient handouts, clinical reviews, or articles that are unavailable in the HIRC collection. Fees for this service are the responsibility of the requester.


We offer introductory sessions to provide users with basic skills for searching primary healthcare databases and other resources on the Internet. Separate sessions can be organised for users who also need an introduction to the use of the PC and Internet.

The current print collection, which consists of items dated within the last sixteen years, includes journals, and over 300 texts, reference books and documents from national, regional and international health organisations. The retrospective collection includes older resources still useful for researching the history of health-related issues. The T&T / Caribbean Health Care Reports collection consists of pertinent health reports from the Ministry of Health, CAREC and other Caribbean Healthcare Organisations. Legal Acts and Bills related to healthcare is also available. The pamphlets collection provides information on the five major health issues in Tobago, that is, HIV/AIDS, Cancer, Diabetes, Hypertension, Accident and Injuries and other health related issues.


The vital component of HIRC resources is the Internet-based digital collection. This “virtual” collection consists of approximately 200 full-text medical books and journals; in depth drug information and treatment protocols; and a wealth of free information and publications from world-wide healthcare organisations such as PAHO and WHO. We also provide access to databases such as Mosby Nursing Skills, UpToDate, MEDLINE, which contains abstracts and selected full-text articles from over 5000 biomedical journals and books; and MEDCARIB, which has an up-to-date listing and abstracts for unique health reports and publications from the English-speaking Caribbean.


We have a Local Area Network (LAN), with eight user workstations to enable direct access to Internet-based resources. During the next development phases for HIRC, more workstations will be added to the network. Wireless connection is also available at HIRC.


We are presently developing a database with the full-text of selected reports, newsletters and other documents produced by the Tobago Regional Health Authority, the Tobago House of Assembly, the Ministry of Health for Trinidad and Tobago, and other national, regional and international healthcare agencies. These documents will be accessible through the HIRC LAN as well as the Internet.