Some 40 boxes of medical supplies and sundries were handed over to the Bustamante Hospital for Children by the Local Government Department, during a ceremony at the hospital, Arthur Wint Drive, Kingston on Thursday (May 6).
Among the supplies handed over were: dialysis tubes, surgical gloves, needles, bandages, nipples, spinal and prep trays and connection tubes. They were valued at US$11,000 (approximately J$1 million).
They formed part of some US$400,000 (approximately $36 million) in hospital supplies and equipment donated by a group of Jamaicans living in Toronto, Canada, led by the Jamaican-born President of the Supreme Council of the Independent United Order of Solomon Inc., a non-profit charity and fraternal organization in Canada, Lloyd Seivwright. He received the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for Service to Jamaica in 2003.
The Department of Local Government, through which the items are handed out, has already made donations to all infirmaries across the island, as well as hospitals which fall under the North-East Regional Health Authority (NERHA) and the Bustamante Hospital in Kingston.
Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government Reform, Hon. Robert Montague (left), sharing a light moment with (from second left), Board Chairman, South East Regional Health Authority, Lyttleton Shirley; Medical Epidemiologist for Chronic Diseases and Injuries, in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Tamu Davidson-Sadler; Senior Medical Officer, Bustamante Hospital for Children, Dr. Michelle-Ann Richards-Dawson, and Matron at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Marcia Lyn-Cook, at the handing over of medical supplies by the Department of Local Government, today (May 6), at the hospital. Among the supplies handed over were: dialysis tubes, surgical gloves, needles, bandages, nipples, spinal and prep trays and connection tubes.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony at the Bustamante Hospital, Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government Reform, Hon. Robert Montague, noted that children are one of the country’s greatest assets, hence the need for partnerships to ensure that they are well taken care of.
He said that the concept of telemedicine is also being explored, and the possibility of a project being pursued between his Department and Sunnybrook and Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, through Jamaican Board member, Dell Lawrence.
“They have a satellite system, and they have developed a very technologically driven thing of utilizing the internet and high definition television even during surgery, and we would want to put that link in Jamaica so that the skills of their surgeons can be utilized in our country without physically bringing them into the country,” he added.
Board Chairman of the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), Lyttleton Shirley, in expressing gratitude, noted that the items will replenish the supplies of the hospital and will be used for the utmost benefit of the patients.
“While medical supplies and sundries may seem trivial when compared to diagnostic equipment like ultrasound or MRI equipment, I can assure you that they are critical when it comes to patient care, because without these supplies the level and quality of care would be severely compromised,” he added.
Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, said that his Ministry, since last year, has been on a drive to ensure that proper working equipment and adequate supplies are in institutions.
He noted that while the Ministry cannot achieve this task on its own partnerships, such as these, are critical in achieving this goal.
“This partnership that we are experiencing today is one that warms my heart. It epitomizes the ideal in government that all agencies working together for the benefit of everyone and the advancement of each other,” he said in a message read by Medical Epidemiologist for Chronic Diseases and Injuries, in the Ministry, Dr. Tamu Davidson-Sadler.
He also used the opportunity to implore other stakeholders to partner in securing the health of Jamaicans. The Bustamante Hospital for Children is the only paediatric hospital in the English speaking Caribbean, catering to children from birth to 12 years of age.