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The first of four field hospitals being established to provide 152 additional bed spaces to facilitate the treatment of persons with coronavirus (COVID-19) will be commissioned into service shortly.

This was announced by Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, who noted that this initial 40-bed facility, which was provided in collaboration with the United States Government, was delivered last week and is being installed at the National Chest Hospital, St. Andrew.

“There will be an official handing over this week…[on] Thursday (September 24) and shortly after, that facility should be commissioned for use, and we are putting in place all of the equipment required. It does come with some equipment. We will add some additional equipment and, of course, the personnel to man that facility,” he said while addressing a virtual press conference on Tuesday (September 22).

Dr. Tufton noted that another 40-bed facility, which will be based at the Mandeville Regional Hospital in Manchester, is currently being negotiated with a Canadian company with the support and assistance of the Canadian Government.

“That discussion is in full train and we hope to have the arrival of that facility in short order,” he said.

“We have two others that we are going to be building out, meaning building a frame and then equipping them. One will be at St. Joseph’s Hospital, which is a 36-bed facility and that will commence shortly… the other will be [at] the Falmouth Hospital, [also] a 36-bed facility,” the Health Minister informed.

He said that the provision of additional bed space is an essential part of the Government’s COVID-19 response.

“That is in keeping with our commitment to ensure that we can manage any possible extreme flow of persons needing hospital care in that important category of positive cases – persons with symptoms who need hospital care,” he said.

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