Princess Margaret Hospital Prepares for Royal Visit


The Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) is getting a facelift in preparation for the visit of Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal on Saturday, February 26. The Princess will officiate at a dedication ceremony and unveil a plaque on the hospital’s compound in recognition of its 50th anniversary.
Senior Medical Officer at the PMH, Dr. Cecil Batchelor told JIS News that some $1 million is being spent to clean and redecorate the facility. He said there was an ongoing cleaning programme at the hospital, but additional work such as painting the exterior of the building, landscaping and white-washing of tree trunks was being done. Other improvements include the placing of decorative stones around flower-beds and minor repairs to damaged sections of the building.
Currently he said, workmen were trimming trees on the compound and along the roadway leading to the facility.
“These are the things we would have liked done on an ongoing basis, but there is not enough money and one has to prioritise,” he said, adding that a number of private and public sector agencies, including the National Health Fund had donated funds to help in the clean up exercise.
Meanwhile, he said, the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) will be assisting with the refurbishing of the solar water heater system that was damaged by Hurricane Ivan last September. The system was installed under the Government’s National Energy Conservation Programme, aimed at saving energy costs while retaining or increasing the level of production and convenience that result from petroleum products.
“We are hopeful that we will see some action by now and Friday evening,” Dr. Batchelor added.
With regard to the construction of a fence around the hospital’s compound, he said a fencing committee involving hospital staff and members from surrounding communities had been established to solicit funds through fund raising activities, and from corporate entities within the parish.
“We may have reached about a quarter million dollars in terms of funds collected,” he said, stating that an estimated $12 million was needed to build the fence.
The Senior Medical Officer said he was hopeful that activities in celebration of the hospital’s 50th anniversary would assist in “pulling people and corporate bodies into the loop, so to speak, in terms of assisting us.”
“It is really something we would like to see done, it is a security risk and it does not look good to have a major hospital like this without fencing,” he added.

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