Barbara Ellington, Public Affairs Editor
The University Hospital of the West Indies' (UHWI) Private Wing Limited (PWL) recently officially opened its refurbished luxury Tony Thwaites Wing. The additions comprise: an endoscopy procedure suite, an additional operating theatre, 26 new patient rooms, a spanking new administration office, a new patient waiting area, expanded dietary services, and visitors' cafeteria. The wing now has 56 rooms.
On a recent tour of the facility, The Gleaner learnt that the nurses who work there are contracted from the parent hospital (UHWI) and patients can only use the facility if they are under the care of a consultant from the UHWI.
"This is a non-profit facility," said Marcia Martin, manager of the PWL. "All the profits are ploughed back into projects and equipment for the wing. The expansion of the 22-year-old facility cost some $450m and some 1,500 square feet of space was added."
What is immediately noticeable is that there is no typical 'hospital smell', no matter how long one remains at the wing. The place is spacious, spotlessly clean and the staff are friendly and very accommodating. Orderlies are clean, neat, tidy and polite. So impeccable is their service that, "Many patients send them gifts after they leave," Martin said. Many members of the dedicated staff have been there for periods ranging between 12 and 22 years.
In spite of this, Martin said the most critical area of need is more nurses as the ideal ratio would be one nurse to three patients, but they are currently operating above that. The total number of staff lies somewhere between 70 and 80, and that is a very comforting factor especially for the many returning residents who use it. "This facility reminds them of what they have become accustomed to overseas. We also get many patients from the other Caribbean islands particularly the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos islands and Antigua," noted Martin.
All major insurances from the United States of America, Canada, and the United Kingdom are welcome but patients have to make a deposit before admission. The rate for a double room is $8,000.00 per night and single occupancy costs $10,000.00 per night. This is just for the room; all other charges are separate.
What you Get
A typical room has the bed (s), television set with remote, Internet service, phone, air-conditioning, bathroom with security rails and accommodation for a family member or caregiver. The room can accommodate four visitors comfortably and one family member or personal caregiver can stay overnight.
The management of the PWL will arrange air ambulance service from UWI to other countries and visa versa. The care received at the facility is comparable to the best anywhere in the world. Definitely a place to be treated in!
Full Caption: Mark Thwaites (left), chairman, University Hospital of the West Indies-Private Wing Limited; Patsy Thwaites, widow of the late Tony Thwaites, for whom the facility is named and R. Danny Williams a director of the wing, are in a good mood at the official opening of the new wing and operating theatre at Tony Thwaites Wing, held at the hospital on Friday November 30.