JIS News

The Government is contemplating upgrading work on the Lionel Town Hospital to return the institution to its former status, in order to further ease the patient load on the May Pen Hospital.
Prime Minister, Bruce Golding who visited the Hospital on Friday (Jan. 11) as part of a tour organized by Health and Environment Minister, Rudyard Spencer, said something had to be done to enhance the facilities.
He noted that overall a strategy was needed to develop a method of reviving and upgrading health centres and clinics in all the parishes to deal with primary health care services.
“We have to find a way to do it because if we are to deliver the kind of services, and equipment that a hospital ought to have, it cannot be dealing with all types of ailments. It has to be confined to the types of things that a clinic cannot handle,” Mr. Golding said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Spencer said that there are several plans in train for the facility once it is upgraded, including offering practical training for nurses. He also disclosed that Senior Medical Officer (SMO) for the May Pen Hospital, Dr. Winston Dawes would be retiring shortly but that he had been persuaded to delay his retirement and instead, lend his services to the Lionel Town Hospital, to assist in upgrading that group of medical staff.
Regional Director in the Ministry of Health, Keith Shakespeare told JIS News that a number of rehabilitation works had to be undertaken before the Lionel Town Hospital could be ready for a larger volume of patients.
“Hurricane Dean took off the roof of the operating theatre so that has to go back on and there are some windows that are old and. water comes in so that has to be corrected and there are some other roofs that need repairing, the kitchen needs upgrading and several other areas to bring it back up where you are able to offer a wider range of services,” he explained.
Commenting on whether there is enough demand to make the upgrading viable, Mr. Shakespeare said that despite the fact that the institution does not offer the full slate of services as the May Pen facility does, Lionel Town provides service to a wide geographical area, including Portland Cottage, parts of Manchester, St Catherine, and Clarendon.
“It (the demand) would be there but you would have to make a decision in relation to the number of patients coming, and in all the considerations they would have to look at what the needs are and see what has to be done,” he told JIS News.