The St. Elizabeth Infirmary in Santa Cruz is to boost its emergency medical service as the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund has donated an ambulance to the entity.
Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, who shared the news during a tour of the “best kept” facility on June 21, noted that the ambulance is one of two units donated by the Fund.
Mr. McKenzie said the infirmary is located “miles away” from the nearest hospital, and as such, having a dedicated unit ensures prompt, life-saving medical assistance for the facility’s 49 residents – 27 males and 22 females.
“An ambulance, fully equipped, is important for the survival of the facility,” the Minister emphasised.
“We continue to make significant investments in our infirmaries. The Government will not spare anything at all to ensure that our infirmaries are in good working order,” he added.
Mr. McKenzie further noted that plans are under way to officially open the new administrative block at the infirmary, pointing out that the necessary remedial work was successfully completed on the infrastructure, which is ready to be occupied by the administrative team in short order.
“I am really impressed with the work that the Matron and the team have been doing to maintain this facility,” the Minister said.
He also cited the therapeutic park at the infirmary, which was established in 2019 as the first of its kind, adding that the park serves as a place of healing for the residents, offering a serene environment with umbrellas, tables and chairs for relaxation.
Mr. McKenzie said that similar parks would be introduced in other infirmaries across the island, noting the positive impact they have on the well-being of the residents.
For her part, Assistant Matron for the St. Elizabeth Infirmary, Veronic Roach, expressed her gratitude for the forthcoming ambulance, noting that its arrival will bring hope and assurance for the residents and staff alike.
Meanwhile, Mayor of Black River, Councillor Derrick Sangster, said the ambulance will provide essential support during emergencies and ensure the safety and well-being of the residents.
“The infirmary is located some distance from the hospital, but even more so, in times of hurricane we have to make arrangements with private individuals to transport the residents to other locations should the infirmary become inundated with storm water,” he pointed out.
“So, the ambulance will be a welcome addition to the infirmary to assist in that sort of process,” he added.