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Spanish Town Hospital gets new 30-bed ward

Published:Saturday | May 2, 2020 | 10:47 AM
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The capacity of the Spanish Town Hospital in St Catherine has been boosted with the official opening of a 30-bed ward.

Funding was provided by Kind Hearts Foundation and construction completed by Food For The Poor.

The 3,600 square feet ward will benefit over 3,000 individuals and includes all the necessary amenities such as a reception area, bathrooms, shower stalls with wheelchair access, examination rooms, storage, meeting rooms and a lunchroom. 

The ward was officially opened on Tuesday.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, toured the ward during a separate visit to the hospital a few days before its official opening.

“The Ministry of Health & Wellness is grateful for the continued support and partnership with the Kind Hearts Foundation and Food For The Poor. COVID-19 is one of the greatest challenges that the world has faced in recent time and one of the key strategies to facing this challenge is through partnership. Partnership with various stakeholders, including non-profit organisations, will make a significant difference in achieving the best health outcome for the people of Jamaica. We thank the Foundation for supporting the efforts at the Spanish Town Hospital, as we continue our response to COVID-19.”
Echoing Tufton’s sentiments, Dwayne Francis, CEO of the Spanish Town Hospital, said the new ward will undoubtedly put the health facility in a better position to plan for the number of patients they are expecting if the virus continues to spread at its current rate. 

“The lack of beds was a major problem for us, but even greater was the lack of space to even house the beds. So, on behalf of the entire South East Regional Health Authority, we thank Kind Hearts and Food For The Poor for making this possible for the people of St. Catherine.”
In 2019, the Spanish Town Hospital submitted a proposal to Food For The Poor appealing for help in alleviating the long wait that patients have had to endure in its Accident and Emergency (A&E) ward due to lack of space and beds. 

Today, however, given the current epidemic, the newly-constructed ward will be used as a COVID-19 ward with bed count reduced to twenty-two in keeping with social distancing guidelines.
Christina Hudson, Director of Kind Hearts Foundation commented that; “When we were approached to help with the construction of this ward for the Spanish Town Hospital, saying yes was a no-brainer for us. We firmly believe that every Jamaican in need of health care should have access to quality service. But, we are even more overjoyed that the facility will be used to fill such a dire need at this critical time in our health services sector.”
Meanwhile, for their part, Kivette Silvera, Executive Director at FFP, said; “As we join hands and hearts in the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Food For The Poor (FFP) Jamaica is happy to have partnered with Kind Hearts, through the Richard and Diana Stewart Foundation, to construct and furnish a ward at the Spanish Town Hospital. The handing over of the ward is quite timely as it now places the hospital in a better position to respond to cases related to this current health crisis. The reality is that Jamaica, and the world in general, is facing an unprecedented crisis.  In order to combat the challenges associated with this pandemic, all sectors and individuals must work together and so, in this regard, we salute the efforts of Kind Hearts for collaborating with us on this project. This will no doubt impact hundreds of lives.”

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