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JIS News

Minister of Health and Environment, Rudyard Spencer, has assured that work on the Linstead Hospital in St. Catherine, would be fast-tracked.
Mr. Spencer, who toured the hospital on February 20, said the repair work would be a major project, but he would instruct that rehabilitation work begin next week in the kitchen and the laundry area.
The Minister noted that he would announce the mid-term and long-term approach to fixing the hospital, soon.”It is difficult at this time of the year for Ministries to have money, because we are at the end of the financial year, but I’m going to impress upon the team to see what we can find and impress upon the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, to let them know that this is an emergency,” he told JIS News.
“If the work is of a certain scope and size, it has to go through the Contractor General and that takes a little time and this is why I’d rather if the work is done in a phased way, so we can start right away,” he said.
Explaining the decision to start with the kitchen, the Minister pointed out that food preparation was critical, one that affected patient health as well as staff welfare. He said that work on the laundry was done in the past, but in an unsatisfactory manner, so contractual arrangements would be speeded-up and sorted out. “Those two areas we can deal with right away and you have my word as Minister that we are going to do something about it right away,” he said.
Other areas to receive attention in the medium term are the Accident and Emergency Unit and the Health Centre. The Minister commended members of staff at the hospital for the work they were doing.
The 50-bed Linstead Hospital was started in 1917 and serves some 2,000 patients from St. Ann, St. Mary, St. Catherine and parts of rural St. Andrew on a monthly basis.