Fort Wellington Hospital being upgraded -some services affected

Some of the services at the Fort Wellington Hospital (FWH) have been disrupted after a large section of the building was pulled down to facilitate upgrading of the facility and persons feel staff should have been relocated.

They said it is not fair for the staff to be working “in all that noise and dust” and that other arrangements should have been put in place as was the case when the Mahaicony Hospital was under construction.

According to one woman, when the Mahaicony Hospital was undergoing extension works the “region did not see it fit to allow nurses to continue working from the doctors’ quarters in the compound.”

Regional engineer of Region Five, Dennis Tahal responded that the project at Fort Wellington “is not as intense as what was done at Mahaicony” and that relocating the staff would not be necessary.

He said the area that the contractors are “working in is not affecting other sections of the hospital” and that “the place is well maintained.” Tahal noted that “It is just a temporary situation and in any development some degree of inconvenience must be endured… for their betterment.”

He said staff were notified through the Regional Health Officer (RHO), Venus Smartt about the changes and that it was “not a case where they did not know.”

Meantime, he said some services are running “at a limited scale” with the dental and out-patient clinics still operating. The maternity clinic has been set up at a separate building in the compound that houses the Voluntary Coun-selling and Testing centre.

He said while no deliveries would be done at FWH, an ambulance would always be on standby and that patients would have to be referred to the Mahaicony Hospital – which resumed services on October 8 – or the Georgetown Hospital.

Some clinics, he said, would have to be shifted to the Bush Lot Health Centre. The engineer said the section that was torn down includes the wards and the laboratory facility and that all in-patient accommodations have been affected.

He said the project is part of the region’s capital works programme to remove decaying timber which was heavily termite-infested and replace it with concrete. The upgrading had to be done at this point because the authorities were awaiting the completion of the Mahaicony centre.

He said staff had returned from their temporary location at the Dundee Health Centre and the services at Mahaicony are “now up and running”

According to Tahal they applied treatment to the boards for the termites but it “proved futile.” He said some of the boards had been changed last year and they have stockpiled those boards to re-use.

Regional Executive Officer, Floyd France told Stabroek News that the project has been undertaken to bring the hospital “up-to-standard.” He said they are improving the “lab, patient care and general facility to enhance the delivery of health services within the region.”

He said the project commenced one week ago and is being done by G. Singh Construction Services at a cost of $8.6M. It is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

Meantime, staff at FWH said they did not wish to offer a comment when contacted by this newspaper.

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