JIS News

The accident and emergency ward at the Black River Hospital has been officially reopened after a $51 million upgrading and refurbishing programme.
The project was undertaken over a two-year period through funding from the National Health Fund (NHF) and the Health Support Fund (HSF).
In his address at the opening ceremony, chief medical officer at the hospital, Dr. John McRae, informed that the “state of the art department boasts a 24-hour response programme staffed with experienced and skilled doctors and nurses, who are committed to saving lives and hastening patients’ recovery”.
Among the other features are: a comfortable waiting area; private registration and assessment area, two bed trauma bay, three bed acute care area with defibrillator; asthma bay; observation bay; minor operating theatre with state-of-the-art equipment; and portable x-ray machines.
Dr. McRae noted that the upgrading work was the fulfilment of the vision first outlined in 1974 by then senior medical officer, Dr. Roy Francis. “Unfortunately at that time serious financial constraints deferred the realisation of this dream, but the good thing is that it did not die as it was in 2002 that we made the first proposal to the HSF,” he said.
For his part, Minister of Health John Junor noted that although the Black River Hospital was designated as a type C facility, the hospital and its staff could be proud of the facility’s achievements over the years.
He indicated that the improvements were part of an overall package aimed at improving health service delivery at the island’s public hospitals, through the Health Sector Reform Programme.
He further pledged the Ministry’s full support of any future upgrading work at the hospital. “I know that this is just the start and that we still have a long way to go but this to me, is a marvellous beginning,” Minister Junor stated.
The Black River Hospital has, in recent times, benefited from the presentation of a new ambulance and the renovation of the operating theatre by the NHF. Furthermore, the hospital has also seen the dedication of the Lloyd Carney endoscopy suite, a new administrative block, new cancer care clinic and computerisation of its communication network.