Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, on Friday (July 9) toured a newly constructed male ward at the St. James Infirmary, located along Albion Road in Montego Bay.
The facility was recently completed at a cost of $45 million, after being in construction since 2016.
Some 45 male residents are to occupy the new ward, where strict COVID-19 safety protocols will continue to be observed.
Mr. McKenzie informed that he is proud of the new wing and plans to officially hand over the facility in September.
“We also will definitely be assisting in providing the funding for the fixtures and the furniture for the building [and] by that time [in September], I hope to make some new announcements as to more improvements that will take place here at the St. James Infirmary,” he said.
“But today, I am really proud to be here and I am really looking forward to the opening of this facility as this is the third that is completed in the series of what we are doing. We have several more of what we are doing across the country for the benefit of the poor and destitute,” he added.
Mr. McKenzie said staff at the St. James Infirmary must also be commended for maintaining a high standard in caring for and serving the residents at the facility.
For his part, Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Leeroy Williams, said the new ward is in a state of readiness for occupancy.
He thanked the Local Government Ministry for the significant contributions made over the years towards its completion adding that “we look forward to the other contributions coming from the Ministry in a very short time.”
Head of the St James Infirmary, Matron Jacqueline Wilson, noted that the new ward will help to alleviate the burden that some of the staff face.
“The completion of this new male ward is so welcoming. It is one of the things we can’t wait to occupy. I am so thankful, along with the residents for this venture and we applaud the Minister,” she stated.