Jamaica News: The Government has commenced preparatory work on three major infrastructure projects in the health sector.
These are construction of a new hospital in St. Catherine, a corporate office for the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and redevelopment of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).
Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, told JIS News that the Ministry is seeking to contract three project managers for the projects, which, he noted, from part of a 10-year strategic development plan for the delivery of improved healthcare.
“The plan is to develop the healthcare infrastructure. We have seen the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and other issues that have affected the population health-wise, so the master plan has in it a number of hospitals to be built,” he said.
The plan is to build a Type A hospital for St. Catherine to meet the rising demand for tertiary services due to population growth.
It is projected that by 2021, 599 hospital beds will be required for the parish, and by 2031, the figure will move to 644 beds.
The Health Ministry has indicated that the infrastructure at the Spanish Town Hospital is aged and has been recommended for replacement.
The work to be carried out at the UHWI, includes improvement to outpatient or ambulatory surgery, lecture rooms, conference rooms, upgrading of the cardiology hybrid interventional surgery room, and the neonatal intensive care and administrative departments.
As it relates to constructing new corporate offices for the Ministry, Dr. Tufton said that the entity is now located in six different buildings across the Corporate Area and the “importance of this work requires somewhere that staff can operate comfortably and productively in serving the public”.
The plan is to construct a monolithic building to house the Ministry’s over 720 staff members with appropriate amenities, which will result in cost savings, improved shared services and governance, and greater efficiency in operations.