The Government is moving ahead with plans to rehabilitate the Spanish Town Hospital in St. Catherine.
Speaking to JIS News during a tour of the hospital on Friday (June 9), Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, said the technical work for the project will be undertaken this year.
He informed that the objective is to upgrade the institution from a Type B to a Type A facility as part of ongoing efforts to improve the country’s health system.
“What we have committed to doing is a major overhaul of this facility. Starting this year, we are looking at the technical aspect. That includes looking at the needs of the facility, areas where expansion needs to take place – the operating theatres, providing additional bed space – and do the necessary designs for that work. As we move into the next financial year, we will be working to secure the funding to do actual expansion,” he informed.
“At the end of the process we expect it will be better equipped to deal with the demands on the hospital at this time,” he added.
As a Type B facility, there are restrictions in terms of the specialist services the hospital provides. The upgrading will therefore enable the facility to better serve the wide range of cases from St. Catherine and neighbouring parishes.
Hospitals in Jamaica are classified as either Type A, B or C. Type A facilities provide comprehensive secondary and tertiary health care services and are the final referral points for public and private hospitals.
Situated in the larger urban centres, Type B hospitals provide primary and secondary care services, including inpatient and outpatient services in general surgery, general medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, and anaesthetics. X-ray and laboratory services are usually available.
Type C facilities are basic district hospitals, which provide inpatient and outpatient services in general medicine, surgery, child and maternity care. X-ray and laboratory services are usually available.
Built in 1952, the Spanish Town Hospital was originally designed to accommodate 277 beds. The facility has, however, exceeded its capacity with over 430 beds.
The tour, which included teams from the Ministry of Health and the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation, was to ascertain the areas of need at the hospital.