A $300-million rehabilitation project is in the completion stage at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), while a second campus of the institution will be established at the St Joseph Hospital in Kingston.
The disclosure was made by Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, during his contribution to the 2023/2024 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.
He pointed out that the money is being used to do minor and “immediate repairs” to the facility, in addition to work that is to be completed this year to fix the operating theatres under the Code Care initiative.
The Minister said that the institution, which is the largest multidisciplinary hospital in the Government health service as well as the largest trauma centre in the public hospital system, needs a “comprehensive overhaul”.
He said a Committee has been appointed, headed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dunstan Bryan, and involving stakeholders from the public and private sectors, to review and to implement a work programme for complete refurbishing and rehabilitation of the KPH.
The Minister said that the 10.7-acre property at St Joseph currently houses an aged building with capacity to house 100 additional beds.
“It has been agreed and approved for these properties to be an annex to the Kingston Public Hospital as the St. Joseph campus. This campus of KPH will provide specialist care in Oncology and Nephrology as a first step in creating the Centres of Excellence as defined in the Vision for Health 2030 Plan,” Minister Tufton told the House.
Beginning this year, development of the plan to transfer the Oncology and Nephrology services will be undertaken with the intention of providing “higher quality interventions” for patients who need cancer treatment, as well as expanding the services for dialysis and other kidney-related interventions, the Minister said.
He reported that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic delayed the “full commissioning” of the Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC) investments at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, and work will shortly commence to reinstate the infrastructure provided through collaboration with the European Union (EU), to rededicate the high-dependency units and operating theatres that were repurposed to support the COVID-19 fight.
“This is to improve the hospital’s ability to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates to the targets set in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said.
He commended State Minister in the Ministry, Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, for her work to reverse worrying trend in child mortality, through the Start Right Initiative.
“She has moved to develop significant campaigns to improve maternal health outcomes, and the objective here is to provide adolescents and vulnerable mothers with an incentive for their full participation in the antenatal care provided in the public health system,” the Minister said.