The health sector received another five beds to tackle the country's need for intensive care. This, as the Adventist-owned and operated Andrews Memorial Hospital (AMH) in St Andrew officially opened its Intensive Care Unit (ICU) last Friday.
AMH, which was founded in 1944 by an international team of missionaries, is the first private hospital to open an ICU in Jamaica. It is estimated that the island's health sector has less than 40 ICU beds, which is considered below the required need for the service.
"We are very happy to offer this critical service in our drive to provide higher-quality health care to patients," said Dr Patric Rutherford, president of AMH. "This will also allow us to care for patients who we would normally have to transfer to the Kingston Public Hospital or the University Hospital of West Indies."
The five-room facility, each equipped with monitors and ventilators, will be fully opera-tional as soon as the hospital finalises arrangements with the relevant doctors for the unit.
"We will start seeing patients in a few weeks," Rutherford added. "Some of the trained nurses are already in place and the required doctors are already here in Jamaica, but we would just need to finalise the necessary arrangements."
On Thursday, August 12, AMH signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Orlando-based Florida Hospital, which formalised their years of collaboration in areas such as education and training, research, technology and equipment.
Rutherford explained that "a key component of the MOU is the benefit of a discounted cost for patients from Florida Hospital, who are in the care of AMH and need to be transferred there for further medical assistance."
Construction is underway to increase the number of operating rooms from two to four by year end.
Plans for future development include the construction of a chapel, the procurement of a MRI unit, the building of a state-of-the-art patient-care tower that includes rooms for a paediatric unit, psychiatric unit and increase in medical/surgical beds. Also, a three-storey outpatient tower to house additional doctors' offices, and space for other services, is part of the plans.
"These plans are in an effort to create the hospital of the future for Jamaica," Rutherford added.
Andrews Memorial Hospital and Florida Hospital are faith-based health-care institutions committed to extend Christ's healing ministry.
'We are very happy to offer this critical service in our drive to provide higher-quality health care to patients.'