CASTRIES, St Lucia, Monday, September 10, 2012 – The formal opening of the doors of the new St Lucia national hospital is set for June 2013 disclosed Minster for Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations Alvina Reynolds during the first of what has been promised to be a monthly schedule of press updates to apprise the nation on milestones in the completion of the New National Hospital Complex (NNHC).
The minister reaffirmed government’s commitment to complete the construction phase of the NNH by December 31st 2012, and Minister Reynolds said the NNH commissioning phase is expected to take approximately six months in a process that will include activities such as equipping, outfitting of kitchen and laundry and signage among others.
At the press conference attended by a high ranking delegation of officials from the Ministry of Health (MOH), including Permanent Secretary Cointhia Thomas, Chief Medical Officer Dr Merlene Fredericks and Chief Health Planner Wenn Gabriel; as well was Liam McManus, the construction site supervisor with British based Engineering firm Sir Frederick Snow and Partners Ltd, Reynolds promised a re-organization of the governance structure of the medical facility that would deal with issues of efficiency, effectiveness and accountability in the management of the organization.
“Moreover, some facts are important to note, namely that we are talking about not just a new national hospital, but of a hospital complex through the amalgamation of the New National Hospital, the National Mental Wellness Centre and the Turning Point Drug Rehabilitation Centre. Additionally, expansion of services above what currently obtains at VH will characterize the NNH, with the inclusion of improved diagnostic services such as CT Scan, MRI as well as Day Surgeries,” said the minister
The NNH, once complete, will replace Victoria Hospital as Saint Lucia’s premiere medical institution. The completed structure will comprise a two story building consisting of 33 departments that include :a 21-bed pecial Care Baby Unit; an obstetric suite inclusive of 31 ante- and post-natal beds; five delivery beds and associated support facilities, a state-of-the-art Accident and Emergency (A&E) department; three Acute General Wards equipped with 65 beds and eight dialysis chairs; four operating theatres- two general; one day surgery and one obstetric; radiology; intensive care, and outpatient.
The structure of the new hospital will be built to withstand the forces of hurricane and earthquake and will be built to accommodate future expansion.