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The operating theatre at the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital was officially re-opened on Wednesday (March 22), after an $11 million refurbishing exercise.
The project was funded by the National Health Fund (NHF). “The NHF offers grants to public sector institutions to improve the delivery of health care. Grants are being made for training and research, purchasing of equipment and for improving infrastructure,” explained Baldwin Tucker, the fund’s Projects Manager.
He noted that the project was just one of several being undertaken by the North East Regional Health Authority (NEHRA), which are aimed at improving the health care delivery. “I want to congratulate the NEHRA on the completion of this project and encourage you to continue to look for other projects, which will impact significantly on the delivery of health care,” Mr. Tucker stated.
Board chairman for NEHRA, Dr. Michael Wittingham, who spoke on behalf of Health Minister, John Junor, informed that work on the facility was extensive and included the removal and replacement of the ceiling, air conditioning unit and surgical lights and the installation of an alarm system and autoclave.
Meanwhile, he urged hospitals across the island to perform more day surgeries in order to decrease waiting time. “Reducing the waiting time for elective surgery is a challenge many hospitals face,” he said, noting that the Ministry was aiming to increase the number of day surgeries done each year by at least 10 per cent, by improving technology and adding more theatres.
He informed, that of the approximately 4,000 surgeries performed in the northeast region each year, more than half were done at the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital, with approximately 30 per cent being day cases.
“Improving health care for all Jamaicans will mean that no matter where you are in Jamaica, you should be able to access good quality health care,” he said.
He commended the staff at the hospital for the high level of service and their continued efforts to provide quality care to the people of St. Ann and of the NEHRA in general.