St. Catherine Infirmary to take on Social Cases from Spanish Town Hospital
The Ministry of Health through its agency, National Health Fund (NHF) donated Four Million Dollars to help the St Catherine Municipal Corporation provide alternative accommodation for (26) social cases from the Spanish Town Hospital to the St. Catherine Infirmary.
The symbolic cheque was on Friday, September 15, handed over at an official ground breaking ceremony for construction of the new ward on the Infirmary premises, the section that houses the old chapel.
Reverend Roy Johnson of the Worship Centre blessed the occasion.
Chairman of the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation and Mayor of Spanish Town, Councillor Norman Scott said he was literally floating on cloud nine and he wants to openly laud Minister Tufton for making this gesture a reality; he said the Minister has made good on his promise and he was truly grateful. He said when he became Mayor in 2012 he embarked on a programme to ensure that extensive repairs is carried out at the Infirmary to better the lives of residents and so much has so far been done. Mayor Scott added that only a few weeks ago the Jamaica Public Service Company donated $1.1 Million that will also go towards the building. With this 4 Million, now a total of 5.1 Million Dollars will go a far way, said Mayor Scott. He said an estimate done last year indicated that the project could cost close to $7 Million and with work commencing in short order the building is expected to be completed in early 2018.
“A nation is judged by how it treats its elderly and needy”, a statement there from Local Government Minister Honourable Desmond McKenzie who was also on location He said he welcomed the activity and congratulated Mayor Scott for the work being done. Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Fund, Mr. Everton Anderson, shared similar sentiments.
Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton said he was truly happy to offer support to this very worthwhile initiative. He said it is a collaborate effort and part of a wider policy framework to support people who are rendered homeless as a result of mental health and other chronic illnesses; and who have been rejected by family members and oftentimes end up in the streets or public institutions. He said the Ministry's support is critical and he looks forward to its completion.
Other representatives present included Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government Mr. Rupert Pryce, persons from the Health Sector, Councillors and staff members of the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation, led by Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Andre Griffiths.
A symbolic handing over of the cheque and ground breaking was done by Ministers Tufton McKenzie, Mayor Scott and NHF's CEO Mr. Anderson.
The St. Catherine Infirmary, an Adult Residential Care facility located at 13 Monk Street, Spanish Town was a former army camp built in 1888; it provides total care for indoor poor residents who are considered destitute, friendless and homeless or wards of the state.