JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Staff, patients and visitors of the Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH) in downtown Kingston, will now have quicker and easier movement between floors following the commissioning into service of a new elevator.
  • The Health Minister therefore contented that “we need to learn from the mistakes that we have made” and ensure that greater sustainable planning is done within the public health sector especially as it relates to the acquisition of assets.
  • The Victoria Jubilee Hospital is the largest maternal facility in Jamaica and the Caribbean. There were more than 30,000 visits to the hospital last year, and over 7,000 babies were delivered.

Staff, patients and visitors of the Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH) in downtown Kingston, will now have quicker and easier movement between floors following the commissioning into service of a new elevator.

The installation was undertaken by the National Health Fund (NHF) at a cost of over $16 million, and is the latest in a series of recent upgrades to hospital infrastructure across the island.

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Hon. Christopher Tufton, who officially commissioned the elevator into service during a ceremony at the hospital on Friday (July 12), said the defective elevator, which was in operation for 30 years had outlived its lifespan by 15 years.

“We have too much down time in our equipment and our capacity therefore is hampered to respond to the needs of our people, largely because of maintenance issues,” he said.

The Health Minister therefore contented that “we need to learn from the mistakes that we have made” and ensure that greater sustainable planning is done within the public health sector especially as it relates to the acquisition of assets.

“When we negotiate the acquisition of these assets, a big part of that negotiation must be how are we going to maintain the asset to get the full and useful life out of the asset,” he said.

In the meantime, Dr. Tufton informed that since last year, six new elevators have been installed in five hospitals, and noted plans to install another eight elevators this year. These will comprise an additional three at VJH; another three at Kingston Public Hospital (KPH); one at Bustamante Hospital for Children; and another at Spanish Town Hospital.

This will bring to 14 the number of new elevators that will be installed at hospitals at an overall cost of about $180 million.

In his remarks, Chief Executive Officer of the NHF, Everton Anderson said the agency was pleased to facilitate the commissioning into service of yet another elevator, which would now greatly improve ease of movement between floors.

Mr. Anderson also informed that a one-year preventative maintenance package has been purchased for this new elevator.

As part of the upgrade to the facility, the lobby was also newly tiled and painted to improve ambiance and aesthetics.

For her part, CEO of VJH and KPH, Colleen Wright expressed gratitude for the newly installed elevator which she said will augur well for the overall delivery of care.

“I know that this elevator will work wonders in assisting us in providing the quality care we should be providing for our clients,” she said.

The Victoria Jubilee Hospital is the largest maternal facility in Jamaica and the Caribbean. There were more than 30,000 visits to the hospital last year, and over 7,000 babies were delivered.