The Alexandria Community Hospital in St. Ann is to be upgraded to offer additional services. It will also be designated a Centre of Excellence sometime in the future.
This was announced by Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, when he addressed staff at the facility on August 9.
"It is a fine institution nested in a most beautiful setting. It is designed for patient recovery, it is designed for quality care, and I am convinced that this is an institution worthy of support, and with the support you are getting from the bauxite industry, and from community volunteers, it is clear in my mind that this is an institution on the move," the Minister said.
"You will have my full support, and what we want to ensure is that we will be able to deliver the kind of services that will ease the pressure on the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital. This institution, as a centre of excellence in the future, will satisfy all the basic criteria,” Dr. Ferguson said.
He further added that the facility can also provide expanded oral health care, an area of major focus in the Ministry. “Oral health will become a major part of my tenure. Many times we underestimate the impact of oral health on the chronic diseases, and persons are faced with the problem where they are not taking care of their oral health, which exacerbates the chronic illnesses,” he noted.
Dr. Ferguson also used the occasion to address medical professionals from the Mind, Body and Soul Health Ministry, based in the United States, which is hosting a one-week health fair at the facility.
He commended the work of the Maryland group, noting that residents of the area deserve to have the best service that the institution can offer.
"We can set up a first-class dental centre in terms of the expansion that is to come, based on location and layout. This too can become an important institution of public/private partnership. I see the possibilities for even the development of a private wing that can augment the other aspects of care in this area,” the Minister said.
The Mind Body and Soul Health Ministry, headed by a native of Alexandria, Dr. Hillary Morgan, has been supporting the parish for some seven years.