Refurbishing work on the female and male wards at the Savanna-la-Mar Public Hospital in Westmoreland is far advanced.
The male ward is expected to be completed over the yuletide season. The total cost of the work is $15.7 million.
According to Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, workers on the project would soon be focusing on the female ward as well as other projects at the hospital, such as the construction of a new Accident and Emergency Unit and the expansion of the dental facility at the nearby Savanna-la-Mar clinic.
The Minister was speaking to journalists on December 22, as he toured sections of the Little London health centre in Westmoreland.
“We have completed the first phase of the male ward at a cost of $4.7 million. It is the intention to continue phase two, which will take us into the female ward. I have given a commitment that our next project for Savanna-la-Mar will be to build an Accident and Emergency Unit that will ease the pressure on that institution and will create greater patient comfort,” the Minister explained.
Dr. Ferguson said the Ministry is committed to expanding the dental section at the Savanna-la-Mar health centre.
“Having visited and seen the need, we are going to work assiduously to ensure that we can complete that project during 2013. Other projects in Westmoreland, such as the Darliston Centre of Excellence and the design and estimates for the Williamsfield Health Centre will be pursued next year,” he pointed out.
Turning to efforts by the Ministry to put in place the Tobacco Control Legislation, the Minister said he is resolute at achieving this for the protection of the health of citizens.
“We are hoping that by the first quarter of 2013-2014, we will have in place the Tobacco Control Legislation to ban smoking in public spaces. Six million persons are dying annually (around the world) from smoking and some 600,000 are dying globally from passive smoking, by just being in the presence of smokers. As Minister of Health, I am taking a position to protect the health and well-being of the nation,” Dr. Ferguson emphasised.