BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, December 16, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Ministry of Health completed a number of major infrastructural projects in 2021 that will ensure the provision of quality health care to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and strengthen the Federation’s health systems.
Minister of Health, the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett said that while the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays to a number of projects, the ministry was able to complete and implement a number of its initiatives including the complete refurbishment of the Newtown Health Centre; the installation of a RT-PCR laboratory at the JNF General Hospital with added staff; the installation of new technological equipment at the Ophthalmic Unit of the hospital, and the acquisition of a Field Hospital, ventilators, cardiac monitors, point of care devices and birthing beds at the hospitals, among others.
The Health Minister said her ministry intends to roll out and continue with a number of projects in 2022 that will further improve the health sector in the Federation.
“We expect to see the completion…of the new health center in St. Peter’s. It is already about 70 percent complete, but we expect that it will be completed in 2022. As part of our continued health sector improvement, we will continue to work closely with Public Works to build out the design of the new Basseterre Health Centre which will include the vital components of a main community public health facility, including environment and maintenance units,” said Minister Byron-Nisbett.
In addition, the Minister said greater focus will be placed on improving the current infrastructure at the Cardin Home. The scope of this work will include electrical upgrade, repainting of the building, remodeling of all bathrooms and the kitchen, upgrades to the nurse’s office and more. Additionally, there are plans to construct a new wing at the facility that will accommodate 50 more rooms.
Moreover, the Ministry of Health is expected to commence the construction of a basic Cardiac Catheterization Unit, which will include essential cardio-equipment to align with international standards.
Minister Byron-Nisbett stated further that plans are underway for the rollout of the Joseph N. France General Hospital Phase III Project, starting in 2022.
She said, “Phase III will see the mortuary and the Pathology labs being done in alignment with international standards to accommodate the appropriate storage of cadavers and performance of autopsies. Our central medical stores will now be able to accommodate the storage of drugs and medical supplies in accordance with required standards. The laundry will be able to facilitate the effective and efficient laundry requirements of the institution, our kitchen and kitchen stores area will be built according to standards to accommodate the appropriate culinary and dietary requirements and services of the JNF Hospital, and I must add that just this year we also added a dietician to the kitchen staff at the hospital.”
Phase III of the hospital project is also expected to see the build out of a Central Sterilization Unit and a maintenance workshop.
“It is true that the pandemic has highlighted specific vulnerabilities of certain population groups as well as exposed several structural weaknesses within the health care system. However, it has also provided an enormous opportunity to substantively reform and transform the health sector into a system that continues to evolve towards a high state of preparedness, and Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Health is delivering just that,” Minister Byron-Nisbett said.