JIS News

Children, parents, and other users of the Bustamante Children Hospital will have safer access to the institution, with the installation of guard rails yesterday (May 23) along the sidewalks leading into the facility. A storyboard was also unveiled as part of efforts to impart information about the history of the 44-year old hospital to visitors, while trees were planted along the median in front of the gates to the hospital.
The project, which is the second major Labour Day activity for Kingston this year, was spearheaded by the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC).
Minister of Education and Youth, Maxine Henry Wilson, addressing a ceremony held outside the gates of the hospital on Arthur Wint Drive in Kingston, said that in “honouring our children, we honour our ancestors.” “Every child deserves our special attention, and we know that when our children become ill, our hearts are in pain. When you come into an environment that brings you a little bit of joy, even though it can’t cure the pain, it certainly can ease some of it, and when you come into an environment that is orderly, it allows you to do your business with as little confusion as possible,” she said.
She used the opportunity to appeal to the users of the institution, such as taxi drivers and vendors, to maintain an environment of orderliness. Mrs. Henry Wilson stressed that the rails were not an inconvenience that was being imposed on anyone, but rather, “it is to protect our children, and all of us have to be a part of persuading those who use the facilities that it is in the interest of the public for us to have the new amenities that we have here”.
Mayor of Kingston, Desmond McKenzie told the gathering that Labour Day signifies a coming together of all stakeholders within the municipality to work for a common cause.
“All the work taking place here is as a result of a visit that we made last year during the annual Christmas visit to the hospital. Request was made to do some work to prevent taxis and other persons from abusing the sidewalk, which is there for the mothers and others attending the hospital,” he explained.
Mr. McKenzie said the Council would be working closely with the police to ensure that the parking regulations at the hospital are observed. He disclosed that the Council is also in discussions with the National Works Agency (NWA) to make the bus depot opposite the hospital more accessible to buses, as drivers have complained that because of the angle of the curb, it is difficult for them to access the depot.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Beverley Needham, said that over the years, a lot had been done to improve the facilities at the hospital. “A lot of what we have been able to do has been with the support of many groups and organizations, including the KSAC,” she said.
During the last year, she informed, the hospital saw 67,000 patients in the accident and emergency department, and 37,000 in outpatient specialist clinics, while more than 11,000 were admitted.
Turning to the Labour Day project, the CEO said “I am very pleased to know that in celebration of this year’s theme, a storyboard has been mounted, as sometimes to go forward, we have to know where we are coming from. The storyboard is going to serve as a very useful piece of history and information for persons visiting the institution,” she stated.
The theme for this year’s Labour Day is ‘Honouring our Ancestors.Strengthening Communities’. Activities to mark Labour Day were coordinated by the Ministry of Tourism, Entertainment and Culture through the Labour Day Secretariat under the chairmanship of Dr. Wykeham McNeil, Minister of State.

Skip to content