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Minister of Health and Environment, Rudyard Spencer, has said that the purchase of St. Joseph’s Hospital and the planned expansion of the Bustamante Hospital for Children will allow for an increase in health care offerings in the island.
“We recognize that our major facility, the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), is over its capacity and there is limited capacity for extending services at that location,” Mr. Spencer said, noting that the vision of a modern health system cannot be achieved without the expansion of services, pursuing different service delivery modalities and upgrading and re-equipping plants.
He was making his contribution in the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 3.
The Minister pointed out that the location of St. Joseph’s, with its ready-made facilities, provides opportunities for the relocation of some of the services offered from the KPH, noting that “the purchase of the hospital is therefore in the best interest of the people of Jamaica.”
St. Joseph’s Hospital is an accredited 44-bed general hospital that sits on 4.8 hectares (12 acres) of land. It is centrally located and provides a wide range of surgical, medical, ophthalmic, psychiatric, renal dialysis, rehabilitation and other specialized services, including all diagnostic services. “We intend to develop this hospital as a centre of excellence in health care delivery in the Western Hemisphere,” the Health Minister stated.
He informed that dialogue with the staff of the hospital as well as with partners, who operate from that location, has already started. “We will continue these discussions and will apprize the Parliament and the country of the road map to achieving our objective of expanding our service delivery operations in the South East Regional Health Authority,” he told the House.
Turning to plans for Bustamante, Minister Spencer said that there is strong support within the public health sector for the facility to provide services to children up to the age of 18 years old.
“We intend to upgrade that institution systematically over time to facilitate the expansion of services to the child and adolescent population,” he stated.