Residents of Spanish Town and surrounding communities are to benefit from the newly refurbished ‘King of Spain Wing’ at the Spanish Town Hospital in St. Catherine.
His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain unveiled a plaque to officially open the wing during a tour of the facility today (Feb.18).
The facility was rehabilitated through a grant assistance of US$500,000 from the Government of Spain, through the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation, and comprises new rooms for male and female patients, a nurses’ station, and a physiotherapy ward.
Minister of Health and Environment, Rudyard Spencer, in his address, thanked their Majesties for the gift to the people of Jamaica. He also commended the management and staff of the hospital for a “tremendous job done” in ensuring the successful completion of the renovation work.
Minister Spencer said that the hospital is an important facility and that it has been serving a growing population.
His Majesty, King Juan Carlos 1, of Spain (centre); Minister of Health and Environment, Rudyard Spencer (left), and Spanish Ambassador, Jesus Silva, in discussion after the official opening ceremony for the refurbished wing at the Spanish Town Hospital, today (February 18). The facility is a gift from the Government of Spain.
“The location of this hospital has placed it at the heart of the rural urban traffic. It has the highest bed occupancy rate in Jamaica of some 132 per cent. We anticipate that the demand for health services at this institution will continue to grow as the rural urban drift continues,” he stated.
He informed that the Ministry will be equipping the wing and the physiotherapy department during the next financial year.
Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, David Coombs, told JIS News that plans are in place to purchase equipment for the department. “I am quite confident that we will get there. This has been a big move in the right direction,” he stated.
He said the 68-bed ward would provide additional space for male and female surgical patients. “We have capacity for 34 females, 34 males and that would dramatically reduce the strain that is on the other certified wards here,” he stated.
He noted that the physiotherapy department, where patients will be rehabilitated after surgery “would give the Spanish Town Hospital that added dimension to cater for the total well-being of patients.”
The Spanish Monarchs are on a State Visit from February 17 to 18.