KINGSTON, Dec. 29 (JIS):(BY: DOUGLAS McINTOSH) The management of Mandeville Regional Hospital, in Manchester, has secured an additional four acres of land, which will form part of its strategic plan to further develop and expand the institution’s facilities and services.

The property, which is adjacent to the hospital on Caledonia Road in Mandeville, was acquired from the previous owner, the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the hospital, Alwyn Miller, tells JIS News that consideration is being given to relocating the outpatient department, which is earmarked for expansion.

He informs that the department, which provides pharmaceutical and laboratory services, has “outgrown” the area it currently occupies, resulting in the staff being “overwhelmed (by) the volume of persons using these facilities.”

This situation, he points out, makes it “more challenging for them to manage (the significant number of clients seen) within that space.”

Mr. Miller says the proposed upgraded laboratory is highly anticipated in light of the fact that “there are some services required in the Manchester and wider Southern Health Region that we have to get done as far (away) as Cornwall Regional Hospital (in Montego Bay)”, which incur significant costs.

He notes that the entire Southern Region (residents and other medical institutions) will benefit from having a regional laboratory at the hospital.

Additionally, the CEO says that for “security reasons,” the management also wants to separate outpatient from inpatient services, “to be better able to monitor and manage all visitors to the hospital.”

Mr. Miller tells JIS News that acquisition of the property will also provide the hospital’s management with the opportunity to explore development and installation of several additional cost effective features, capable of enhancing the institution’s operations.

These, he informs, include installation of additional water storage tanks and rainwater harvesting facilities to assist in maintaining consistent supplies at the institution, particularly during periods of restriction or disruption.

“One of the concerns we have always had is that while we do have our storage facility here, the hospital’s consumption rate has grown since the facility was established, and it can no longer store sufficient water for us beyond, maybe, a few days,” Mr. Miller points out.

“Additionally, it is always a bit disconcerting in times of severe weather, for example, when the National Water Commission (NWC) may be affected by flooding…and damage to its pumps, and we have no water in Mandeville. So, we want additional storage space to harvest water from rainfall,” the CEO adds.

Mr. Miller says the management is also hopeful that these projects will be complemented by the installation of eco-friendly renewable energy facilities, such as solar or wind, “to support the energy needs of the hospital.”

“We are hoping that in the 2015/16 budget year, we will be able to get the funding to secure the necessary technical services to help us in the developmental stage,” he tells JIS News.

Built in 1877, the Mandeville Regional Hospital is a Type B institution, which caters to just over 1,000 clients daily.

The institution, which is administered by the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA), was initially called the Mandeville Public Hospital. It was renamed in 2001. The facility has undergone significant infrastructural upgrading and service expansion over the years, totaling in excess of $700 million.

The most recent was the completion of five major projects during 2013/14 at a cost of approximately $105 million, with financing from the National Health Fund (NHF).

These included: renovation and other supporting infrastructure works on four operating theatres; installation of new chillers and supporting air conditioning systems; procurement of food trolleys and meal wares; procurement, installation and commissioning of an X-ray machine; and renovation of Block H, which houses the internal medicine, paediatric and postnatal wards.

They were symbolically handed over to the hospital’s management by Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, during a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony, and according to Mr. Miller, are expected to expand the hospital’s bed complement to approximately 230.

Implementation of the projects and the development being proposed for the hospital are consistent with the Government’s Human Capital Development priority, focusing on development and strengthening of health care.
Emphasising that the Mandeville Regional Hospital “must” be transformed into a Centre of Excellence, Dr. Ferguson assured that “the Ministry will continue to allocate resources to improve the quality (of the) infrastructure, even as we improve the manpower needs for the institution.”

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