JIS News

Story Highlights

  • A new male ward is to be constructed at the Portland Infirmary at a cost of $45 million.
  • This follows the building of a new female ward at the facility in 2018, at a cost of $15 million.
  • Speaking at yesterday’s (November 6) ground-breaking ceremony in Port Antonio for the male ward, Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, said the infirmary will serve as a model institution.

A new male ward is to be constructed at the Portland Infirmary at a cost of $45 million.

This follows the building of a new female ward at the facility in 2018, at a cost of $15 million.

Speaking at yesterday’s (November 6) ground-breaking ceremony in Port Antonio for the male ward, Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, said the infirmary will serve as a model institution.

“We are using Portland Infirmary as the pilot project for the model infirmary,” he told his audience, adding that resources are being invested to make a difference for the infirm.

“We want to give a different look, a different feel to how we treat these people,” Mr. McKenzie said.

He pointed out that, beginning with the St. Elizabeth Infirmary, all the institutions across the island will be outfitted with therapeutic parks, as well as industrial washing machines and dryers.

Mr. McKenzie disclosed that, very soon, 500 mattresses will be distributed to the institutions.

Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for Eastern Portland, Ann-Marie Vaz, said the transformation of the infirmary is a “testament” to what the Government is doing for people who can’t help themselves.

For his part, Member of Parliament for West Portland, Hon. Daryl Vaz, highlighted that since 2014, he has assigned a portion of his Parliamentary salary to the institution, which has now amounted to over $1.4 million.

“The place is a beautiful sight to behold,” Mr. Vaz said.

Mayor of Port Antonio, Councillor Paul Thompson, said the effort of the Ministry and the Portland Municipal Corporation to enable residents of the infirmary to “live in dignity”, is commendable.

“This upgrading will make life more comfortable for the residents, and make working conditions better for the staff,” the Mayor said.

Matron at the infirmary, Carmelita Holson, told JIS News that the 59 residents of the institution will experience improved “holistic care”, and both staff and residents are delighted for the improvements.