JIS News

A cheque for $49,000 was presented to the Princess Margaret Hospital in Morant Bay, St. Thomas yesterday (February 23), to purchase a haematocrit machine to be used for the testing of blood.
The donation was made by the Morant Bay branch of the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), with the Branch Manager,Valerie Holness handing over the money to Senior Medical Technologist, Mavis Blair at the opening of the hospital’s health fair to observe its 50th anniversary. The machine will be installed at the hospital by next week.
In an interview with JIS News, Senior Medical Officer at the hospital, Dr. Cecil Batchelor said that the hospital needed the equipment, as the current one was not functioning properly and could not be repaired.
He noted that JNBS has always assisted the hospital. “Even without us asking, they come to us and ask what can be done,” Dr. Batchelor said.Another organisation which has been assisting the hospital is the Canadian Friends of St. Thomas Health Care Organisation in Toronto.
Dr. Batchelor said the group donated an eye clinic some eight years ago, and since then has been instrumental in getting Canadian doctors to stage a one-week clinic twice yearly at the hospital. “When they come, they see over 400 patients and also supply them with eye glasses,” he said.
In his remarks, Minister of Health, John Junor thanked the private sector organisations and friends of the hospital, both local and overseas, for their contributions over the years. He noted that health care delivery should come from a partnership between members of the community and agencies that existed within the community. The Minister also lauded the management and staff of the hospital for holding the health fair, adding that the institution had faced “tremendous” challenges over the years, while trying to offer health care services to residents.
Mr. Junor urged the residents to consider their lifestyle, since it could impact on their health. “Health care is not about this hospital, it goes far beyond that. You really ought to be considering your health, especially your lifestyle,” he said.
Also attending the ceremony were Members of Parliament for Eastern and Western St. Thomas, Dr. Fenton Ferguson and James Robertson.

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