Fri | Aug 7, 2020

Bustamante hospital gets high dependency unit

Published:Tuesday | July 14, 2020 | 5:06 PM
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton (right) with Head of the European Union Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, at the handing over of a high dependency unit at the Bustamante Hospital for Children in St Andrew on July 14, 2020 - Kenyon Hemans photo

The European Union (EU) today handed over the final of four maternal neonatal high dependency units to the Bustamante Hospital for Children, adding 10 specialised bed spaces to improve the institution’s capacity to treat sick children.

Head of the EU Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, said in addition to the increased bed spaces, two isolation rooms were also added.

Units were recently established at the Spanish Town Hospital, the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, and the St Ann’s Bay Hospital.

“We can all appreciate the worry and stress that parents and the entire family experience when a child is very sick. We hope that this unit will offer some comfort to the families of those who will require the services offered here, for it is well equipped and the staff are highly trained,” she said.

The dependency units are among the deliverables under the Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC) which seeks to improve child mortality and reduce maternal mortality.

It was funded to the tune of $22 million euro by the EU and took seven years to be completed.

“There were ups and downs, but I am happy to say that we delivered and there is good value for money,” she said.

Under PROMAC, 56 specialised bed spaces have been added to public hospitals, and of this amount, 39 are neonatal high dependency unit bed spaces and 17 are obstetric spaces.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, said the EU has made tangible contributions to the state of Jamaica’s public health infrastructure.

“It is giving mother and child care in our country a significant boost. Indeed, it is filling a gap that had existed before, which otherwise may not have been filled if we did not have this $22 million euro, not just for the building and the equipment, but for the training and for all the other things that are associated with this programme,” he said.

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