BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, December 20, 2023 (SKNIS) – Prime Minister and Minister of Health, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew embarked on his annual Christmas visit to the Joseph N. France General Hospital today (Wednesday, December 20, 2023) to spread cheers and joy to the patients, doctors, nurses, administrators and other staff of the hospital while expressing gratitude to the medical staff for their hard and dedicated service to the wellbeing of citizens, residents and visitors.
Prime Minister Dr. Drew visited the various wards at the hospital including the paediatric ward, maternity, surgical and medical wards where he personally presented Christmas gifts to the patients.
This year’s Christmas visit had an extra special element to it, as the prime minister was pleased to learn of the completion of a project that saw the installation of air conditioning units in the medical and surgical wards at the hospital. This is the result of a public-private partnership project between the Prime Minister’s Office and Victor Williams of Williams Architectural.
Having personally witnessed the hot conditions on the wards during his time as a practising medical doctor at the hospital, Prime Minister Drew said this partnership is indeed a welcomed endeavour that will benefit many patients.
“Working on this ward for a long period of time, heat had always been an issue,” said Dr. Drew.
The health minister recalls advising patients to bring their own fans, which the technicians would set up, but often the fans only circulated warm air. He added that patients with various health issues, such as respiratory, cardiac, and neurological problems, frequently expressed discomfort due to the heat.
“We know that when there is increased humidity that those conditions can worsen one’s medical condition. And so Williams Architectural, through Mr. Williams, has partnered with the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis to make sure that we bring improvement to the medical ward and the surgical ward by providing AC units,” said Dr. Drew.
Director of Institutional-based Health Services, Dr. Jenson Morton stated, “We are very pleased to see this project come to fruition. Now we know that all of the patients, especially the sickest patients in the hospital on the medical ward in particular and the surgical ward, can now have temperature-controlled comfort whilst they are hospitalised, and that is a most wonderful Christmas gift which we could have given to them.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Williams expressed his satisfaction with the overall success of the project and used the occasion to encourage other private sector entities to consider partnering with the public sector on projects that will redound to the benefit of the wider St. Kitts and Nevis.
“It doesn’t have to be at the hospital, it can be at a health centre or the schools or whatever you wish. My choice was health and the hospital…because I know what it’s like to wake up in a hospital and you need that level of comfort…and this is what we are giving, that level of comfort because it helps with healing. So I encourage my private sector partners to consider some level of partnership because the institutions are national institutions,” said Mr. Williams.