Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, has accepted a proposal that will see the Alexandria Community Hospital, in St. Ann, resuming full operation as a Primary Care Centre of Excellence.
The proposal calls for a public/private sector partnership with the non-profit group, Mind, Body and Soul Health Ministry (MBS), which is headed by United States based Jamaican national, Dr. Hillary Morgan.
Dr. Ferguson, accompanied by personnel from his Ministry as well as representatives of the North Eastern Regional Health Authority (NERA), and South West St. Ann Member of Parliament, Keith Walford, met with the group on November 15 at Rooms on the Beach Hotel, in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.
The Health Minister said the proposal is worthwhile and fits in with the Government’s quest to facilitate private sector involvement in the running of health facilities. He also commended the MBS Ministry’s efforts in offering health care to residents in the Alexandria area through health fairs, using overseas health professionals.
“I congratulate the Morgans for the work that they are doing at Alexandria. I have found in the Morgans that they are passionate, and they are doing it the right way. I can’t see what should stop this project. I am clear that the Chairman of NERA, and the Board members are sold on this project,” Dr. Ferguson said.
He gave his commitment to move swiftly “to do what needs to be done, so that this project can get on the way”.
The Minister was particularly excited about the provisions in the proposal to address oral health. “As a dental surgeon, I am particularly pleased when I see oral health as a priority, where state-of-the-art equipment is being proposed,” he told his audience.
The MBS team consists of noted philanthropist, Dr. Kiran Patel and President, Dr. Hillary Morgan, who was born in Alexandria.
“I have made it my duty to come back home to this area to assist with medical service for those in need. I have assessed, analyzed and evaluated the needs of the communities, and I have concluded that re-opening the Alexandria Hospital would positively impact the community,” Dr. Morgan said.
Outlining the positives, Dr. Morgan said the reopening would improve access to better health care, alleviate the stress on the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital, decrease the travel time to Spaulding and attract new businesses to the community.
The Alexandria Community Hospital serves a population of over 32,000 persons from 7,000 households. The proposal seeks to upgrade the facility to a Primary Care Centre of Excellence and improve the dental health, curative and mental health offerings. The hospital will also have a pharmacy; family health, nutrition and diagnostic services.