The Government is making significant investment in the construction and upgrading of health facilities in St. Ann.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, made the disclosure at a town hall meeting held at the Charlton Primary School in Alexandria in the parish on February 21.
“Things are going to happen [in St. Ann], just give us a few months,” he told the gathering.
The major project will entail expansion and upgrading of the Type-B St. Ann’s Bay Hospital into a Type-A institution.
In addition, there will be the construction of new health centres in Brown’s Town and Ocho Rios as well as the transformation of the Type-4 St. Ann’s Bay Health Centre into a comprehensive facility.
“There are also plans to upgrade the Alexandria Hospital, and these plans have been in the making for some time,” Dr. Tufton said.
The Accident and Emergency (A&E) area of the facility has been contracted for expansion and refurbishing. This will extend healthcare services up to seven days per week with a close-off time of 10:00 p.m. in contrast to the current Monday to Friday operation with a 4:00 p.m. closing time.
Additionally, the staff quarters at the institution will be expanded to accommodate more medical staff and the laboratory department will also receive a major overhaul and outfitted with new equipment.
“Two doctors live on the compound now [but] we are going to increase that to five doctors. So that means renovating the doctors’ accommodation, and that means those doctors can now work on shifts. So with the extended hours, you will have more medical staff to give support to the demand of the system,” Dr. Tufton outlined.
“Also, the thing about the A&E is that you have to have a proper lab because you have to take blood tests and help to diagnose the concerns of the patients, and we are going to upgrade the lab to do all the necessary tests relevant to the A&E,” he added.
For her part, Parish Manager of the St. Ann Health Department, Nadia Nunes, noted the agency is committed to responding to the medical needs of the residents of the parish.
“We know that this is not the ultimate, but we continue to do development work for the benefit of the people. We’ve heard you and we are responding,” she said.