Tuesday 23 July, 2019

Gov't to build 540-bed tower to replace defunct central block at POSGH

The Ministry of Health (MoH) is reaffirming the Government’s commitment to the construction of a new 540-bed patient tower to replace the now decanted Central Block.

The announcement comes after a 6.9 earthquake last Tuesday caused the evacuation of the fourth and fifth floors of the Port-of-Spain General Hospital (POSGH).

In a statement on Wednesday, the Ministry said the Government is committed to guaranteeing the safety and comfort of staff, patients and visitors within the context of optimising quality care at the POSGH.

This was confirmed following a meeting with the MOH, the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA), President of the Trinidad and Tobago Registered Nurses Association (TTRNA) Idi Stewart, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Medical Association (TTMA) Dr Chandra Saroop and members of their executives at the Ministry’s head office in Port of Spain.

The TTRNA and the TTMA were presented with two options for consideration:

1 The retrofitting of the Central Block to make it appropriate for re-occupancy.

2 Identification and re-purposing of clinical spaces within the compound of the General Hospital Port-of-Spain and the St. James Medical Complex.

In the interest of patient and staff safety, the Minister passionately expressed his disagreement with the retrofitting option.

However, in completeness of the option-analysis, he presented it to the stakeholders for consideration.

The position of the Minister was supported and reaffirmed by both the President of the TTRNA and the TTMA.

Discussions subsequently focused on moving ahead with the second option of re-purposing clinical space.

This focused on three buildings on the compound of the hospital: a four-storey building; a two-storey building; the single-storey Allied Building; as well as available space at the St James Medical Complex.

Collectively, it is estimated that these spaces can accommodate 300 in-patients.

It is to be noted that social cases, as well as the geriatric patients formerly housed at the St James Medical Complex, have been successfully relocated to the Caura Medical Facility.

All clinical services previously housed at the Central Block continue to operate at this time.

Following the re-purposing of the four spaces listed, these clinical services would also continue to operate.

The Ministry wishes to remind the public that the Emergency Response Team of the Ministry of Health continues to be active and in collaboration with the Disaster Preparedness Committee of the NWRHA, continues to prioritise addressing the immediate and future concerns of the population.  


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