- Created on Friday, 28 December 2012 17:50
After 33 years, Trinidad and Tobago now has their second teaching hospital located at Chancery Lane in San Fernando, but the good news doesn't end there.
The hospital was officially opened on Friday morning by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar who said it demonstrates her Government's commitment to people-centered development.
She noted that her Government is not only focusing on southwest Trinidad, but on Tobago and elsewhere in the country.
Mrs. Persad-Bissessar praised the construction of this state of the art teaching hospital as a flagship project of her Government.
"My Government will not be marked by high rise buildings but will be one that will be people-centred, it will be one that would build hospitals, it will be one that will build schools, it will be one that put down the infrastructure needed to open up the entire country."
In the same way the PM defended the construction of the highway from Point Fortin to San Fernando, she then defended the construction of the country's second teaching hospital.
"I don't think anybody understands how long it takes a person to get from Point Fortin to San Fernando to reach this hospital or that one. How long it takes them to get to Port of Spain. How long it takes a person from Siparia or Fyzabad, or Debe to get into San Fernando and thereafter into Port of Spain. Even if they do know, perhaps some of them do not care. My Government, as I said, is committed to opening all spaces and places, this project was one of those to give to the southwest."
Mrs. Persad-Bissessar also explained that issues of crime, health care and the economy still remain top priorities for her Government in 2013.
"As we move into the New Year, I see our development in various ways. Development in terms of growing of the economy. You have heard me speaking of the very major billion-dollar energy projects that will be coming into Trinidad and Tobago in the New Year because we want to grow sustainable jobs, we want to grow the economy in order to improve the quality of life of all our citizens. Our energy sector is set for take off which will allow us to get the revenue in various ways and create jobs that will give us ways to deal with other kinds of projects such as these, the hospital projects, the school projects."
At the opening ceremony of the hospital on Friday, Dr. Roodal Moonilal, the Line Minister for Udecott, the agency charged with the oversight of the construction of the new cutting edge hospital, said local citizens comprised 99% of the labour force for the construction of the newly constructed teaching hospital.
Minister Moonilal said the hospital was constructed in accordance with international OSHA standards.
"In all, 17 North American and internationally recognised codes have been applied."
The good news did not stop there as he explained that the hospital, which accommodates 600 beds, will employ hundreds of locals.
"We are informed that when this facility is fully commissioned by April/May next year, we will hire 500 new employees in what we refer to as permanent employment in Trinidad and Tobago, 500 new jobs will be created."
Also speaking at the opening was the Minister of Health, Dr. Fuad Khan, who confirmed plans to introduce nursing staff in various health institutions.
"The Nurse Practitioner who will have limited approval for prescribing and who will act independently in areas that need service to our citizens. The utilisation of this Nurse Practitioner will alleviate the long wait for medical care at our institutions. This Teaching Hospital will be utilised to teach these auxiliary professions. Let me further add, the Ministries of Health and Tertiary Education, through the COSTATT body, are developing a memorandum of agreement whereby all trainees in all auxiliary health care professions of nurses, radiographers, ultrasonographers, laboratory technicians, phlebotomists etcetera."
Minister of Health also give an undertaking to address several cases of malpractice.
Construction of the new San Fernando Teaching Hospital started back in July 2005 under the Patrick Manning administration and was to be used as an administrative complex.
However, after taking office in May 2010, Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar took a decision to have the Chancery Lane Administrative Complex transformed into a wing of the San Fernando General Hospital.
This new state of the art hospital will help to ease the burden of the San Fernando Hospital and will facilitate testing for outpatients like ECGs, X-Rays and Ultrasounds and other examinations.
It will free space at the San Fernando General Hospital to facilitate the expansion of the Accident and Emergency Department.
The hospital, which took under three years to build, includes modern lecture halls, seminar halls and workshops for medical students.
It also includes on-call rooms for doctors to be on staff on a 24 hour basis.
Children were not left out as this as the new hospital includes a paediatric department as well as a kids zone and play area.
When completed, the 18-storey building will include car parks and will house the hospital's administrative offices.