The cardiac centre at the Bustamante Hospital for Children is scheduled for completion by the middle of 2017.
This was disclosed by Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, following a meeting with a Chain of Hope-funded medical mission team from the Congenital Heart Institute of Florida, which is in the island to perform cardiac surgeries.
“Despite several delays, we will see to the completion of the facility, because, ultimately, it is about the interest of the children that we serve, and we are almost there,” the Minister said.
He said that the appropriate build-out will follow and he is hoping that the first case will be seen in the facility by mid-year.
The Minister expressed gratitude to Chain of Hope and the other partners for the resources that have gone into the project.
“I respect and value their efforts, and we’ve been working together to enhance those collaborative efforts; firstly to complete the cardiac facility here, which will be the only one of its kind in the region,” he said.
The Minister also used the opportunity to thank Chain of Hope and its partners for several other areas of support that it has provided for Jamaica over the years. He highlighted the current one-week medical mission, where 10 surgeries are being done for patients.
Dr. Tufton noted that the charity organisation has contributed in other ways, such as upgrading and training of medical personnel.
For her part, Chief Executive Officer of Chain of Hope, Emma Scanlan, said that her organisation seeks to support the development of a Jamaican cardiac programme not only for the children of Jamaica but also the wider area.
“We have aspirations for Jamaica to be the hub for cardiac service for children in the region, and that’s what we are aiming to do, along with our partners, with this cardiac centre,” she said.