Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller says the development of the cardiac programme at the Bustamante Hospital for Children will place Jamaica among those countries with highly developed specialist medical facilities for children.
“Our children constitute a special segment of the population. They deserve the best care and treatment as the health of our people represents the wealth of our nation,” the Prime Minister said.
Addressing the ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday, February 27, for the construction of the new multi-million dollar state-of-the-art Cardiac Wing at the Bustamante Hospital, the Prime Minister said the facility will mend the ‘broken hearts’ of children between the ages of 0-12 years, who have heart ailments and are in need of specialist cardiac care.
“This new cardiac wing will provide an increased number of paediatric Intensive Care Unit beds in Jamaica, reduce waiting time for such surgeries and decrease the number of children on the waiting list for surgery,” the Prime Minister said.
She added that the specialist facility will allow for general improvement in the expertise of local medical personnel in performing complex cardiac surgeries. Each year, up to 500 children are born with congenital heart disease; about half of them requiring cardiac surgery.
The new Cardiac wing has been made possible under a public-private partnership agreement with support coming from Chain of Hope UK, Digicel Jamaica, Sagicor Investment Ltd, Gift of Life District 7020, the Caribbean Heart Menders and the Congenital Heart Institute of Florida. Digicel Jamaica has donated $100 million towards the construction of the facility with a further $40 million coming from Sagicor Investments Limited.