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The May Pen Hospital is slated to undergo a multi-million dollar upgrading and rehabilitation project this fiscal year.

This was disclosed by Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson on Friday, April 12, following a tour of the Clarendon-based facility.

Dr. Fergsuon said the project is estimated to cost between $96 million and $100 million, with approximately $64 million of the amount already approved by Cabinet. He said he is awaiting consent for an additional $32 million for upgrading of the chiller system at the hospital.

The improvements works will entail modernisation of the hospital’s radiology department at a cost of $27.8 million, to provide digital services.

A sum of $15.6 million will be spent to expand the Accident and Emergency Department and provide well-needed equipment. Already, three new air conditioning units have been acquired.

In addition, some $8 million will go towards upgrading the hospital’s sewerage system, while an estimated $5.4 million is earmarked for improving security services, including the provision of surveillance equipment, as well as grillwork.

A further $5 million will be used to improve food trolley services at the hospital, the Minister said, noting that “presently, the region is spending over $500,000 per month to deal with the disposal of food”.

He noted that, provided there is funding, work will also be done to the hospital’s roof and road network, while the perimeter fencing will be addressed in the next fiscal year.

“We have had some initial estimates in the region of $40 million and we have said to the Member of Parliament and the leaders of this institution that we are committed to the process, and our expectation is that our 2014/15 budget will see that as a priority,” he stated.

Dr. Ferguson, in the meantime, informed that the Ministry has committed a sum of $1 million for a major Labour Day project at the hospital.

“My special appeal is that the business sector, companies that distribute paint and other kinds of hardware material, in and around May Pen, and beyond, will come onboard for this worthy exercise,” he urged.

“Many of your workers are the beneficiaries of the health care delivery system and we feel that a partnership will be a major achievement in establishing this hospital as a centre of excellence,” the Minister stated further.

Accompanying Dr. Ferguson on the tour were: Mayor of Clarendon, Councillor Scean Barnswell; Member of Parliament for Central Clarendon, Mike Henry; Chairperson, Southern Regional Health Authority, Fay Bell; and Chief Executive Officer, May Pen Hospital, Nadia Nunes-Howe.

By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter