A delegation from the Ministry of Public Health, over the last two days, commissioned and re-commissioned laboratories and health centres across Region Six.
Those re-commissioned institutions and departments include the National Ophthalmology Hospital at Port Mourant, a laboratory at the Skeldon Hospital, and the New Amsterdam Hospital Dental Department, its on-call quarters and its kitchen.
Newly commissioned works include the brand new health centres at Plegt Anker Village and Number 76 Village, Corentyne; and the upgraded laboratory, kitchen, pharmacy department, waiting area and shed, male and female wards, parking area and new X-ray department at the Port Mourant Hospital.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health, Colette Adams, during the commissioning of the National Ophthalmology Hospital in Port Mourant, said that the hospital had many corrective works that needed to be carried out, mainly on the roof.
“The roof was one of those areas that was very technical and we had to spend extreme amounts of money to fix the roof because where the ACs were, it damaged the ceilings and that is the reason why the ophthalmology centre was down for a period of time,” she explained.
Yesterday, Adams noted that while works were complete, they will now be looking at their supply of drugs and equipment to fully equip the hospital and to “ensure that it will never stop again”.
At yesterday’s recommissioning the minister and her delegation were faced with protest action from the People’s Progressive Party and about 50 of their supporters.
Meanwhile, Alex Foster, Focal Point Coordinator for the Ministry of Public Health, stated that the recovery rooms at that hospital were completely rehabilitated, and are now fully air conditioned.
According to Foster, cataract surgeries are expected to commence early next month, when the US Army arrives for a programme being held in collaboration with the ministry. Additionally, he said, management is in discussion with another team, which may come after the army team leaves, to continue providing support to the health practitioners at the hospital.
The upgrades at the New Amsterdam Public Hospital are estimated to have cost $35.9 million.
Lawrence on Wednesday said that seven months ago, when she visited the main health institution in Region Six, she was utterly shocked at the condition of certain departments. She said she immediately told them of the need to upgrade, which at that time seemed impossible.
Noting that they have been doing little things that show they care, she stressed that she wants the best for her staff and that there is more yet to come.
With regard to the Port Mourant Hospital, Regional Executive Officer, Kim Williams, explained that the regional administration spent some $6 million, along with support from the private sector, to further improve the services offered at the institution.