BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, SEPTEMBER 1ST, 2016 (PRESS SEC) – Yesterday’s official reopening of the extensively refurbished Mary Charles Hospital in Molineux represents another accomplishment for the Team Unity Government, as outlined in point #6 on page 18 of the Team Unity Manifesto 2015 – 2020.
“I feel a sense of relief that just 18 months after a Team Unity victory, we are here for a ceremony to hand over the renovated, re-tooled, as good as brand new facility called the Mary Charles Hospital,” Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said last night to a large, diverse audience comprising proud community members, officials and employees of the Ministries of Health and Public Infrastructure, other civil service professionals, labourers who worked on the renovations, as well as private sector members who donated to the Mary Charles Hospital revitalization project.
Private sector donors have contributed in cash and kind over $365,000.00 ECD out of the close to $890,000.00 ECD that represents actual expenditure to date on the Mary Charles Hospital. The government has contributed approximately $525,000.00 ECD to date towards the renovation work. Renovation work like this can mean updating certain areas that may have not been updated before, but due to the damage, it becomes a necessity. Putting in digital signage software for hospitals, new soft chairs, and interactive screens can make it more inclusive and better equipped with the technology needed for ease of access.
About a year ago, soon after the partial collapse of the ceiling in the female ward, then-Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Mr. Andrew Skerritt [now a Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister], contacted the Director of Public Works, Mr. Cromwell Williams. Yesterday, in giving the project overview, Mr. Williams said Mr. Skerritt had advised that the Public Works Department and the Ministry of Health should undertake a comprehensive assessment of the Mary Charles Hospital in preparation for the capital project to deal with the refurbishment of the hospital.
“By November last year, my records indicate that such an assessment was done,” the Director of Public Works said. “The record would also indicate that a third party was part of that assessment and I refer, of course, to Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine,” Mr. Williams added.
In addition to Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, the donor partners are White Gate Development, St. Kitts Marriott Resort & the Royal Beach Casino, the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine’s Red Semester Class of May 2017 who gave three examination tables to the Mary Charles Hospital, Windsor University School of Medicine, Inter-Serv Limited, Fraites & Sons Bakery, the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Royal St. Kitts Hotel, KM Services, and Mr. Cuthbert Woods, owner of Woodsrite Enterprises. According to Mr. Hazarie Ramoutar, Director of the Student Experience at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, “anonymous individuals,” who were “encouraged by” Mr. Jeff and Mr. Roger Fraites, also “contributed generously of their money towards the project.”
“We should all feel proud of today,” Dr. Harris told the people in attendance at yesterday’s official reopening ceremony, adding: “To those who are scoring this government – we hope all of our citizens and residents are – I say, please, tick this one off as a promise made and a promise delivered. Please tick it as one more commitment, one more undertaking, which Team Unity has faithfully fulfilled.”
Prime Minister Harris continued: “I feel good because we are delivering to you, and we are delivering for the people. Today, all I need say is Team Unity has delivered. This project, when it would be fully completed, would have cost over $1 million. We feel that these are monies well spent, well spent, because we cannot put a price tag on health and on lives. We feel assured of that. Interestingly, we heard today that $365,000.00, in fact 36.5%, has come from private sector contributions. Let’s hail public-private sector partnership.”
The new refurbishment has made use of materials such as Fiberglass Reinforced Panels, which will provide an attractive, yet still sanitary, environment for all. Further work to be done at the Mary Charles Hospital includes the completion of a new dental unit and conference facilities.