Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Port Maria hospital pushing towards first-class status

Published:Thursday | February 16, 2017 | 2:00 AMOrantes Moore
Acting senior medical officer at Port Maria Hospital in St Mary, Dr Kurdell Espinosa.

PORT MARIA, St Mary:

After spending 16 years living in the United Kingdom, where she was an active model and actress, Kurdell Espinosa returned to Jamaica in the late 1990s, after deciding to embark upon a new career.

The move was bold, but ultimately successful as just over a decade later,she had metamorphosed into a certified consultant emergency physician. While many others would have happily remained abroad, Espinosa felt compelled to come home and share the international experiences and knowledge she had acquired.

Speaking from her office at the Port Maria Hospital (PMH) in St Mary, where she is the acting senior medical officer, Espinosa told Rural Xpress: "I never really left Jamaica, I just had to gain experience in the wider world. When I reached London at the age of nine, I told my mother, 'I'm not living here,' and true to my word, I came back because I think this is where my heart belongs, and where I'm needed.

 

ART OF HEALING

 

"It's always good to get exposure from the outside and I really would encourage people to travel and bring their skill sets back to Jamaica because we need them for our country to grow. Being a doctor was not my first choice, I did it to please my mother. But I fell in love with the art of healing and know that I make a difference to the lives of every patient that I see. And I hope the doctors who work with me can see that passion and emulate some of the things I do."

As the head doctor at St Mary's main health care facility, Espinosa envisions a time in the very near future when the parish's citizens will enjoy a far a more streamlined and effective service.

 

SHORTER WAITING TIMES

 

She explained: "They're gonna have shorter waiting times to see doctors, and the quality of care that we offer patients is already far superior to what we may see at some of the hospitals in Kingston. We are investing time to train our doctors. So for instance, if you come to the hospital and something is wrong, we are able to use bedside ultrasound to make our diagnosis in a quicker time.

"Also, I think PMH has been unofficially earmarked as one of the smart (environmentally friendly) hospitals the government is rolling out, and that will really benefit St Mary because we're going to see an eco-friendly facility with energy-saving devices placed around the hospital to make it run more efficiently."

The ambitious accident and emergency specialist added: "St Mary is the only parish with two hospitals. They are competing, so we need to ensure the services we offer at PMH are not replicated at Annotto Bay Hospital.

rural@gleanerjm.com