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US$1-m upgrade for Chapelton Hospital in Clarendon

Saturday, October 20, 2018

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THE Chapelton Community Hospital in Clarendon, is set to be renovated at a cost of US $1 million.

Ground was broken for renovation works on Thursday, a release from the Southern Regional Health Authority said yesterday.

The release said the renovation is being made possible through a donation from businesswoman and head of charity organisation Push Start Foundation, Clarendon-born Beverly Nichols.

The scope of work, the release said, will include: New ceiling, walls, flooring; construction of four additional doctors' offices and a second ward to accommodate 15 beds — bringing the total number of bed spaces to 30.

The hospital is also expected to be upgraded to include a new minor operating theatre, expanded waiting area, improved bathroom facilities for men, women, patients, and staff, expanded records area, new laboratory to improve diagnostic services, improved parking area and water storage facility, and new electrical and plumbing works.

“I am setting up an endowment fund to help in the long-term sustainability of this (Chapelton Hospital) institution. Health care is not a luxury, it is a basic necessity for all humans,” Nichols is quoted as saying.

The businesswoman added that she decided to focus on Chapelton Hospital so that it can better facilitate the underserved members of communities like Chapelton, Rock River, Mullett Hall, Summerfield, Crawl River, Pennants, Frankfield, and Crooked River.

Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton, in expressing gratitude to Nichols for her selfless donation, pointed out that it was important for the rebuilding of trust between the people, the communities and elected representatives.

“Ms Nichols had to have had a minimal, at least, level of trust in the system to work... if that trust and if that hope and commitment wasn't there, then clearly this would be a non-starter. There are many other causes you (Nichols) could have supported, that's just the reality,” he said.

The health minister also said he believes that the only way to address the scourge of ill-health in Jamaica is if the importance of partnership is recognised and each stakeholder is true to their part of the commitment.

“I believe this is a formula for success going forward in the future and that is why the Diaspora is so important. The politician is still very important and we must do what is necessary to ensure that that credibility is not only maintained but enhanced,” he said.

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