JIS News

The $58 million upgrading work being carried out at the Spanish Town hospital is advancing according to schedule.
he work includes the refurbishment of the hospital’s former maternity block, which is being transformed into the new accident and emergency (A and E), wing inclusive of a new waiting area and specialist medical equipment. A two storey medical records building is also being built while various other infrastructural facilities are being upgraded. The project is being financed by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund.
On completion the works will put the hospital in good stead to meet the complex and increasing demands for its medical services.
“It is expected to have a significant impact on health promotion in the parish” said the hospital’s acting Chief Executive Officer, David Dobson in an interview with JIS News. He said in 1952 when the hospital was built the estimated target population was 100,000, a far cry from the estimated 600,000 persons that now depend on the institution’s services.
“With this new A and E wing it is anticipated that we would be in a better position to cope with the demand on our services,” he said. The demand on the hospital’s resources he explained came from the entire parish of St. Catherine including the growing Portmore municipality, as well as parts of Clarendon, and St. Andrew. This despite the fact that the hospital is a type ‘B’ facility. “People come here for the service because the access to Spanish Town is much easier and this therefore makes a significant hub for medical services and health promotion in the island,” he noted.
With the continued incidents of violence in the old capital and increasing numbers of motor vehicle accidents further strain is put on the facilities. Mr. Dobson says however that the task is not a daunting one, as “for the most part this demand will be met”.
“We will always have some level of complications in some cases and where these occur we will refer them to the neighbouring ‘type A’ facilities,” he said. Also, he explained, “Where there are cases requiring neurosurgery, primarily from motor vehicle accidents, these are usually referred.”
Mr. Dobson said indications were that several groups were interested in participating in the development of the hospital in some way and “We welcome this, particularly from those individuals or groups who want to contribute funding or small items of equipment and we would encourage other groups who would like to offer their help”.
The upgrading work is a six-month project and is expected to be completed by late September to early October.

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