Letter of the Day | Isn't it time for a hospital in Portmore?
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The community of Portmore in St Catherine has all the elements of a thriving town worthy of city status. Business is booming, and development occurs at a rapid pace. It is not unusual to leave the area and come back some months later to see that another building, another housing development, or another shopping centre has been erected. A 2011 count put the number of persons who live in the Sunshine City at 182,000, and I am sure that this figure has increased exponentially. There are schools and amenities aplenty.
The only thing that this thriving community lacks is a hospital. The idea has been explored by successive administrations throughout the years, but plans are yet to come to fruition.
I remember overhearing a conversation between someone who had just returned from a visit to Cuba and her friend. The person said that, in Cuba, a community the size of Portmore would have at least two hospitals and countless clinics. Why have we not fast-tracked plans for a public hospital in Portmore?
Benefits outweigh costs
Some, I am sure, would say lack of financing, and perhaps there are other reasons. However, I believe that whatever the reason, the benefits of building such an institution would far outweigh the costs.
The residents would not have to travel so far for emergency medical treatment as currently obtains, the nearest institutions being the Spanish Town, Linstead, and Kingston public hospitals. Such an institution would also take the pressure off existing institutions by increasing the medical facilities available to Jamaicans.
I do not profess to be knowledgeable about the upcoming plans for the health sector, but it is obvious to me, and no doubt several other persons, that the next undertaking by the Government for this growing community should be a hospital, preferably one that offers medical service on par with the professionalism and knowledge base of the excellent medical staff at the Kingston Public Hospital, which is known to be the best of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean.
I am sure there is more than adequate land space in the Sunshine City. What says you, Health Ministry?