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The government of Jamaica will be expending millions of dollars this fiscal year to refurbish hospitals, health centres, laboratories and training institutions.
Minister of Health, Horace Dalley, who made the announcement in his contribution to the 2006/07 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on September 12, informed that the Falmouth hospital in Trelawny would be refurbished at some $155 million. The award of three contracts for the project is pending.
Detailing elements of the contracts, Minister Dalley told the House that entry and external works would cost $43 million; $47 million will be expended for the construction of a new accident and emergency section; while $65 million has been allocated for a new radiology building and a new operating theatre.
The Linstead Hospital is also scheduled for upgrading, the medical wards of the Annotto Bay Hospital are to be renovated, while the intensive care unit at the Cornwall Regional Hospital will be further expanded.
With respect of the Kingston Public Hospital, Mr. Dalley said that improvements would be undertaken aimed at ensuring that the facility maintained its position “as the leading referral hospital in Jamaica”.
Of the Bustamante Children’s Hospital and the University Hospital of the West Indies, he asserted that “as the major teaching institutions in the region, we will do everything and anything to ensure that you maintain your standards.”
Mr. Dalley told the House that all hospitals would be retrofitted with new equipment for radiology and physiotherapy and “the emergency response of the public health sector will be resuscitated as we have ordered 40 new ambulances that will be arriving by January”.
Turning to clinics, Minister Dalley disclosed that by next year, a new health centre valued at $80 million would be constructed in Highgate, St. Mary; a type-three facility will be built in St. Andrew South Western, while a new clinic would be erected in James Hill, North Clarendon. Also, the Kellits Health Centre in Clarendon will benefit from renovations in the fiscal year.
Meanwhile, medical laboratories across the island are to be upgraded and re-equipped. “New agreements will be entered into . for the provision of medical gases. There can be immense savings to the hospitals if they enter into new agreements,” the Health Minister pointed out.
Furthermore, he said, “the Dental Auxiliary School will be further developed and the establishment of a comprehensive medical facility in each region, will provide improved dental care to the people.”