Mon | Nov 19, 2018

KPH, VJH prepared for necessary emergency evacuation

Published:Friday | February 16, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Errol Greene

The Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) and the Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH) are both adequately prepared for an emergency evacuation should the need arise, noted the hospitals' chief executive officer, Errol Greene.

Responding to a recent Gleaner query, Greene said that planned emergency measures are in place to safeguard the lives of both patients and workers and that the same applies to all the other health facilities found in the South East Regional Health Authority.

"Both KPH and VJH were built with emergency routes in mind. We have our emergency and contingency plans, which we dust off from time to time and which we revisit from time to time, making sure they are in line with standard emergency guidelines for facilities such as hospitals," said Greene.

Jamaica sits in an active earthquake zone and registers upward of 300 shocks per year, according to the Earthquake Unit at the University of the West Indies. The island is also located in the middle of the Caribbean, a frequent hurricane route.

 

COMBINED BED SPACE

 

The KPH and the VJH have a combined 800-bed space for patients and serves thousands more with non-emergency medical care yearly.

"Both the KPH and the VJH are some of the best-built edifices in the country. The hospital has been around since 1776, and while wear and tear is clearly going to be an issue, it was built to really high standards," said Greene.

"Hurricanes and earthquakes, it has withstood it all, and we pride ourselves on being not only the largest of its kind in the region, but one of the strongest."

All hospital personnel, including doctors, nurses, administrators and other staff, and those responsible for day-to-day security, are aware of what obtains in case of an emergency, according to the administrator.

"These are two really sturdy buildings and while there may be issues, when it comes down to the integrity of these buildings, there is no question," Greene said.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com