Regional

Port Maria Hospital seeks help to furnish operating theatre

Renae Dixon

Monday, February 04, 2013    

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The Port Maria Hospital in St Mary is seeking the assistance of corporate Jamaica to furnish the recently renovated operating theatre at the facility.

Closed for more than 20 years, the theatre, which was renovated by the National Health Fund (NHF) at a cost of J$15 million, now needs another $30 million to procure equipment and medical supplies.

Refurbishing works to the interior and exterior of the operating theatre began last December with 98 per cent of work on the facility now completed.

"The civil work is complete. We are now in the process of trying to furnish this facility; that's why we are calling out to corporate Jamaica to come on board," Dr Isaac Brown, parish manager of the St Mary Health Services, said last Friday, during a tour of the facility.

He also called on citizens in and out of the parish to consider donating to this initiative.

"We are calling on persons to assist us to make this a reality. This will greatly enhance and improve the quality of service we are able to offer at this facility," Dr Brown added.

The Port Maria Hospital was said to be the Mecca for surgery in St Mary from the 1960s to the late 1970s. The operating theatre has been closed since the 1980s during a rationalisation of the health services and has not been reopened since.

"Port Maria had the best operating theatre in the parish and for some time in the region," Dr Brown said.

While it will not be able to be restored to its former state immediately, Dr Brown said the intention is to be able to do minor surgery at the facility.

"The North Coast highway is right there and from time to time we have to deal with accidents," Dr Brown said as he emphasised the importance of the operating theatre at the facility, located between Ocho Rios and Port Antonio.

He also added that the hospital wants to be able to offer services that are currently not offered in the parish.

A functioning operating theatre at the Port Maria Hospital is expected to greatly decrease the workload on the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital and Annotto Bay Hospital.

Currently, the Accident and Emergency Department of the Port Maria Hospital has to undertake several procedures which should be done in an operating theatre, according to Dr Brown.

He said the reopening of the operating theatre at the hospital, which serves some 113,000 persons, is important for the parish.

Dr Brown noted that one of the ways persons can assist is by supporting a fund-raising dinner in April, put on by the North-East Regional Health Authority (NERHA).

According to NERHA, the hospital is enlisting the support of partners and sponsors to assist in the initiative by purchasing a ticket towards the fund-raiser.

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