Regional Director for the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), Maureen Golding hands over keys for an ambulance to Chairman of the Princess Margaret Hospital, Michael McLeod, during a ceremony yesterday at the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston. At right is Chief Executive Officer for the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Anthony Wood.
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Two ambulances, valued at $15.8 million, have been handed over to the Princess Margaret Hospital in St Thomas and the Kingston and St Andrew Health Services to cover the Bustamante Hospital for Children, National Chest Hospital, Hope Institute and the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre.
The ambulances were presented by the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) at a ceremony held yesterday at the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston.
Currently, there are 18 ambulances operating in the SERHA-monitored public health facilities.
Regional Director of SERHA, Maureen Golding, said the addition of the units comes at a time when the Ministry of Health is increasing its effort to improve critical care in the public health sector.
“What we are trying to do is replace the old ambulances with new ones, and we are doing that incrementally,” she said.
Director of Operations and Maintenance for SERHA, Jarret Daley, noted that the ambulances have been retrofitted to ensure infection control standards.
“The units have been outfitted with hand-wash sinks, in keeping with infection control standards. A (recent) audit revealed infection control was a big item at SERHA, which is why we decided to ensure we are adhering to these standards.” he informed.
The procurement process for additional ambulances is under way. It is expected that the vehicles will be available sometime this year.
Chairman of the Princess Margaret Hospital, Michael McLeod, expressed gratitude for the unit, which he said will greatly enhance the hospital’s capacity to deliver quality patient care.
“The Princess Margaret Hospital needs this ambulance because the distance between the hospital and clinics are great. Normally, we have to borrow (ambulances), but now we can stand on our own,” McLeod said.
SERHA is the arm of the Ministry of Health with responsibility for the delivery of healthcare services to the residents of St Catherine, St Thomas, Kingston and St Andrew, through a network of nine hospitals and 91 health centres.