JIS News

A new female ward has been opened at the Morant Bay Infirmary in St Thomas.
Built at a cost of $10.5 million, the ward was officially opened yesterday (May 16), by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Local Government and Environment, Harry Douglas.
Funding for the project was provided by the National Health Fund (NHF), in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Environment.
A contract for the construction of the building was signed by Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller during her tenure as Local Government Minister. At that time, the roof and structure of the old ward was damaged during heavy rains caused by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004.
In May 2006, Eastern St. Thomas Construction Company Limited began building the new ward. It was completed in January 2007 and more than 50 residents now occupy the new facility, which has a section for critically ill and bedridden patients, a nurse’s station, and a doctor’s office.
Addressing the opening, Minister Douglas said the new facility should provide a more comfortable and satisfying environment for the elderly.
He also pointed out that refurbishing work on the Westmoreland Infirmary would be completed within the next six months. He said that funding for this project was being undertaken by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, at a cost of $16.5 million.
Additionally, he said a proposal to seek funding for the refurbishing of other infirmaries has been completed and work would begin shortly.
“We are working assiduously to have these works completed in the shortest possible time, with a view that as we lead the way in caring for our vulnerable, homeless and less fortunate, we are also creating a kinder and gentler society,” he said.
Chairman of the Poor Relief Committee, St. Thomas Parish Council, Itoford Steele, said that fencing of the compound was urgently needed, to prevent the residents from leaving the compound.
Mr. Steele also called on the business community to support the infirmary. “We need to do better for our parish. Let us support our infirmary in the best way we can,” he urged.
At the ceremony, a donation of $20,000.00 was presented to the Matron of the Infirmary, Avis Harding-Davis by Managing Director of St. Thomas Construction Limited, Cordinal Beckford. Mr. Beckford said the money was to assist the residents in starting a chicken project. “We want to begin initially with 300 broiler chicks with feed, so that they can start the process of providing for themselves,” he said.
Residents of the infirmary also received four televison sets and a weed cutter. The gift was donated by Fitz Gerald O’Gilvie, resident of St. Thomas and a friend of the infirmary.
Also at the opening was the Mayor of Morant Bay, Councillor Joan Spencer.

Skip to content