Sun | May 28, 2017

Spanish Town Infirmary undergoes renovation

Published:Thursday | September 3, 2015 | 9:00 AMShanna Monteith

SPANISH TOWN, St Catherine:

Elderly, indigent persons who are housed at the Spanish Town Infirmary now have an improved living environment.

The St Catherine Parish Council through its 'force account system' has expended $20 million to carry out much-needed renovation to three wards, a kitchen, bathroom facilities, and repair to roofs, as well as putting in place a solar energy system that has reduced the reliance on the Jamaica Public Service by 60 per cent.

Norman Scott, chairman of the St Catherine Parish Council and mayor of Spanish Town, told Rural Xpress after a recent tour of the facility that it takes vision and teamwork to accomplish what has been done.

"What we have done is do all the work through our 'force account system'. We purchased material and allowed our technical department to oversee the renovation work," Scott said.

According to Scott, the labour force came from the community. "We saved at least $100 million by undertaking the project this way and not awarding contracts that when the various components are factored in, it would cost us a tidy sum."

Scott said before the renovation work was done, the institution was in a rundown state, with leaking roofs.

"Our objective is to provide a First-World environment for our elderly, indigent citizens. We are also working towards establishing private wards for persons whose families can afford to pay for the care that we are providing," Scott revealed.

He disclosed that the council was awaiting a promised sum of money from the National Housing Trust to complete repairs to other sections of the facility.

Keeping out animals

"My objective is to improve the perimeter fencing to ensure that stray animals will not be able to take over the compound and harm the residents as was the case sometime ago when dogs invaded the compound and hurt a resident," he said.

Keisha Miller-Wain, matron at the infirmary said the renovation has brought the facility up to First-World standards.

"We are thankful to the parish council and all the non-governmental organisations that have made this institution on par with First-World standards," Miller-Wain pointed out.

She highlighted an exchange programme worked out between the Spanish Town Hospital and the infirmary, where 26 beds were given to the institution by the hospital to keep elderly persons who had no family ties and who needed to be cared for for the rest of their lives.

"The improvements to the institution have made this programme more convenient for these patients," she added.