JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Health and the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA) have signed a letter of intent to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Patel Foundation for Global Understanding, to expand the services provided at the Alexandria Community Hospital, in St. Ann.
  • The project would involve expansion of the maternity, pharmacy and dental services, in the first phase.
  • Laboratory as well as diagnostic x-ray services would also be expanded over time.

The Ministry of Health and the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA) have signed a letter of intent to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Patel Foundation for Global Understanding, to expand the services provided at the Alexandria Community Hospital, in St. Ann.

The project would involve expansion of the maternity, pharmacy and dental services, in the first phase. Laboratory as well as diagnostic x-ray services would also be expanded over time.

In an interview with JIS News, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kevin Harvey, said that an oversight committee, to be controlled and managed by the Board of the NERHA, would be established.

“This would be in keeping with the existing infrastructure, but providing some focus on the Alexandria Hospital through a steering committee, which will oversee the project,” he explained, adding that the programme is in its initial phase.

“There is quite a bit of work to be done to define the full scope and the costing and detailing of the project, hence the signing of a letter of intent,” Dr. Harvey said.

He informed that once “we have the full scoping, the project will be brought to Cabinet for approval, then we will embark fully into this public private partnership to expand the services to the people.”

The Permanent Secretary gave the assurance that all services would be provided in keeping with government policies.

“Whatever services are provided now with the no user fee policy will be maintained and none of the patients who are accessing services will be disenfranchised, in terms of what they now have available to them,” he noted.

Dr. Harvey explained that the Patel Foundation is interested in eventually expanding the complex.

“They are looking to possibly add an operating theatre and a private wing that can accommodate external patients and that will be another phase…but the initial phases will really augment what is there and provide expanded services in obstetrics and gynaecology, dental and pharmacy services,” he said.

The Patel Foundation is a not-for-profit organization founded by Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel, based in Tampa Bay, Florida, that helps fund projects in arts, culture, health and education.