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NERHA boosts ambulance fleet with three new units

Published:Sunday | May 12, 2019 | 12:00 AMCarl Gilchrist/ Gleaner Writer
The three new ambulances acquired by the North East Regional Health Authority at a cost of $42 million.

The North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA) has added three new ambulances to its fleet, at a cost of $42 million.

The three units were handed over on Friday at NERHA’s offices in Ocho Rios, St Ann with two being assigned to the Port Antonio hospital and one to the Annotto Bay hospital.     

“These ambulances were very necessary because we had complaints many times about people not being able to be transferred to different facilities so we thought that it would be the right thing to do," NERHA chairman, Tyrone Robinson told The Gleaner.

He added: “We acquired these from our budget. Per unit, we’re looking at about $14 million so we ...chopped a little bit here and there to be able to fit it in the budget but it’s worth it.”

Regional director, Fabia Lamm, pointed out that with two additional units, for a total of three, the transportation problems for the Port Antonio hospital have been resolved.

However, the Annotto Bay facility still needs another unit, which will be acquired during this financial year.

As for the St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital, its fleet of six ambulances is considered satisfactory.   

“The next financial year, we look at what we do in our primary care services,” Lamm said.

 Meanwhile, the chief executive officers of the two institutions have expressed delight on receipt of the new units.

Althea Gardner, CEO, Port Antonio Hospital, said: “Indeed I am elated to be receiving two ambulances. We do a lot of referrals and having two additional ambulances will certainly help to further manage the care given to our patients on a daily basis.”

And according to Dennis Morgan, CEO, Annotto Bay Hospital: “I am so excited to be receiving this ambulance on behalf of the patients and citizens of Annotto Bay. Annually, we transfer700 patients to go get diagnostic treatment in Kingston and St Ann’s Bay. We need more but we are very appreciative of it.”

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