JIS News

Infrastructural improvements were carried out on several hospitals across the country during the year, at a cost of more than $375 million, Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, has informed.

These include St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital, in St. Ann; Annotto Bay Hospital, St. Mary; Princess Margaret Hospital, St. Thomas; Black River Hospital, St. Elizabeth; Mandeville Regional Hospital, Manchester; Bustamante Hospital for Children and Bellevue Hospital, Kingston; Cornwall Regional Hospital, St. James, and Savanna-la-mar Hospital, Westmoreland.

Making the disclosure during his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, June 25, Dr. Ferguson said these upgrades formed part of the Ministry’s Operational Plan for 2013-2014.

He noted that the Ministry has made progress in achieving the indicated health goals of the plan, including improving health services to Jamaicans and upgrading the physical infrastructure of the public health sector.

In the meantime, Dr. Ferguson expressed his gratitude to the National Health Fund, the Government of Japan, China Harbour Engineering Company, the RJR Group and others who supported the reconstruction of the Annotto Bay Hospital after hurricane Sandy.

“We are moving Annotto Bay Hospital along the path to becoming a Type B facility,” the Minister said.

He also thanked Digicel, Sagicor and Chain of Hope for their partnership in making the construction of the Cardiac Wing at the Bustamante Hospital for Children possible. Ground was broken in February for construction to begin on the $140 million facility.

“This will make the hospital the only one in the English speaking Caribbean with a specialist cardiac facility for children,” the Minister said.

Turning to the Primary Health Care Infrastructure Improvement Project, Dr. Ferguson informed that work was completed on 20 health centres at a cost of $54.8 million this year.

“We have so far renovated over 100 health centres under this programme. I want to thank the member for South East Clarendon, Rudyard Spencer (former Health Minister), for starting this process and assure him that I have made it better and will continue to make it better,” he said.

Contact: Alecia Smith-Edwards