JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The facilities were officially re-opened on December 20 by Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson.
  • Dr. Ferguson noted that the hospital is the only Type B health facility in the Western Region, and as such needs to be kept at a certain level to deliver quality care to its patients.
  • $375 million was spent on refurbishing work on hospitals across the island during the last financial year.

The male and female wards of the Savanna-la-mar Hospital, in Westmoreland, have been refurbished by the Ministry of Health.

The facilities were  officially re-opened on December 20 by Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson.

In his address, Dr. Ferguson noted that the hospital is the only Type B health facility in the Western Region, and as such needs to be kept at a certain level to deliver quality care to its patients.

He said that as improvements are implemented within the health sector across the country, especially at the primary care level, some thought must be given to instituting an incentive programme to encourage health professionals to work in the rural areas.

“We have to build an incentive programme that will allow for persons, particularly doctors, to come and stay in rural Jamaica.  Even as we celebrate secondary care at this time, we want to get our doctors in primary care, because there is an inextricable link between the two,” the Minister noted.

Dr. Ferguson insisted that primary care must be strengthened to the point where people see it as their first point of assistance, so as not to clog the situation at the secondary care level.

“But we have to bring, as a Government, the kind of incentive that will get our doctors coming out and remaining in primary care,” he emphasized.

The Minister  argued that there must be a change in the present policy where intern doctors are locked in at the secondary care level.

Dr. Ferguson pointed out that  the work on the wards was completed at a cost of  approximately $16 million, and that other projects would be undertaken at the institution, such as improvement to the x-ray and laundry facilities and implementation of a telecommunications system.

He noted that more than $375 million was spent on refurbishing work on hospitals across the island during the last financial year.

The Savanna-la-mar Public General Hospital has been in existence for over 100 years.  Fire in 1958 led to the construction of the present plant, which was officially opened on  July 24, 1964.