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Government investing in St Ann healthcare

Published:Friday | February 28, 2020 | 12:23 AM
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton.
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton.

The Government is making a significant ­investment in the construction and ­upgrading of health facilities in St Ann.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, made the disclosure at a town-hall meeting held at the Charlton Primary School in Alexandria in the parish, on February 21.

“Things are going to happen [in St Ann], just give us a few months,” he told the gathering.

The major project will entail expansion and ­upgrading of the Type-B St Ann’s Bay Hospital into a Type-A institution.

In addition, there will be the construction of new health centres in Brown’s Town and Ocho Rios, as well as the transformation of the Type-4 St Ann’s Bay Health Centre into a comprehensive facility.

“There are also plans to upgrade the Alexandria Hospital, and these plans have been in the making for some time,” Dr Tufton said.

The Accident and Emergency area of the facility has been contracted out for expansion and refurbishing. This will extend healthcare services up to seven days per week, with a close-off time of 10 p.m., in contrast to the current Monday-to-Friday operation with a 4 p.m. closing time.

Additionally, the staff quarters at the institution will be expanded to accommodate more medical staff and the ­laboratory department will also receive a major overhaul and be outfitted with new equipment.

“Two doctors live on the compound now [but] we are going to increase that to five doctors. So, that means renovating the doctors’ accommodation, and that means those doctors can now work on shifts. So, with the extended hours, you will have more ­medical staff to give support to the demands of the ­system,” Dr Tufton outlined.