Lions Club to assist with pathology lab
WITH THE four hospitals managed by the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA) unable to operate at their optimum without a pathology lab, the Lions Club of Mandeville, in partnership with SRHA and the Ministry of Health, on Wednesday, launched the first phase of the project in acquiring a $3 million histopathology microscope.
With an expectancy to have things up and running by the end of the year, Michael Bent, regional director at SRHA, said four acres of land located near the Mandeville Regional Hospital has been made available for the pathology lab, but it will take over J$58 million to acquire much needed equipment, the first of which is the microscope.
Dr Collette Hall, pathologist, SRHA said operating without a lab in the region puts a strain on existing alternatives as the demand grows.
"Regional hospitals intending to meet the medico-social needs of surrounding communities have to provide various facilities of which specialised laboratory services are a basic requirement... with large sample loads, the current facilities, confined by space, relatively low capacity equipment and personnel shortages, are buckling under the strain of increased demand."
With specimens having to be sent as far as Montego Bay, staff shortages, logistics problems and a lack of equipment and supplies seriously hamper turnaround times.
The Lions Club will this year use all proceeds from its annual 'Men who Cook' event slated for May 3 to purchase the microscope and begin work for the building of the lab, a move commended by Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson as a perfect example of a public-private partnership.
"I believe in the public-private partnership because this allows for a win-win situation... if you look at our economic environment, limited physical space; it is these partnerships that will make the difference."