About $300 million has been spent on upgrading work at the St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital, in St. Ann, over the last several years, enabling the facility to be on track of becoming one of the finest health care facilities in the region.
Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, not only sees the St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital as a “clear example of what can happen whenever private and public entities come together,” but also as “a top class facility which is functioning like any Type-A hospital in the country.”
“What is clear is that St. Ann’s Bay Regional is providing quality health care for the people of St. Ann and many other communities,” Dr. Tufton tells JIS News.
“This hospital is a type-B with 304 beds. It literally serves three other parishes and a few adjoining ones. It also serves the primary health care system in those parishes…some 70 health centres and a population of some 350,000 to 400,000 citizens,” he adds.
Dr. Tufton says the demand in terms of traffic passing through the hospital is even more intense, considering the tourism factor and the St. Ann’s Bay Regional being so centrally located within close proximity to the resort town of Ocho Rios.
“If you live in Jamaica you will obviously traverse this area at some point. If you are a hotelier it is a nice thing to know that there is a facility of this quality in the event any of your guests should have a need to go to the hospital,” he tells JIS News.
The St. Ann’s Bay Regional has also earned accreditation for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and is a training facility for both interns and nurses.
The facility has formed a very strong bond with a number of corporate and private entities which have spent a considerable amount of money to bring the hospital to a level seen nowhere else on the island’s northern coast.
Over the past several years, private organizations, such as the Issa Trust Foundation and others have pumped millions into upgrading of the facility, including a recent renovation of the facility’s paediatric ward.
Dr. Tufton notes that the hospital serves as the main trauma centre for the busy high-speed highway serving the North Coast.