May Pen gets 40-bed field hospitalThursday, September 16, 2021
A 40-bed mobile field hospital, donated by the United States Government through the US Embassy in Jamaica, was officially opened at the May Pen Hospital in Clarendon on Wednesday.
The hospital forms part of the US Southern Command's ongoing assistance to nations in the Caribbean, Central America and South America, and is funded by the Command's Humanitarian Assistance Program.
The field hospital, which is the fourth to be set up in Jamaica, is valued at JM $132 million and is also equipped with a generator.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, said the donation of the field hospital shows the strength of the relationship between the countries and symbolises the collaboration that is necessary to confront and overcome the pandemic.
“I really want to put on record our appreciation for this facility. We are looking at adding capacity in excess of 300 to 350 beds…the truth is no public health system could have adequately planned for this pandemic…so we have to make provisions in these extreme cases,” Tufton said.
He added that a collaborative solution has to be found in these cases.
“The timing of the pandemic and its impact on us required us to evolve in terms of a plan and a strategy to add capacity as we went along, whether its human, equipment or infrastructure capacity. These field hospitals will serve the purpose for which they are intended and we expect that they will continue to serve additional purposes later on."
Chargé d'Affaires of the US Embassy, John McIntyre, said the field hospital is an investment for the present and also for the future, adding that it will enhance the Government's ability to respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic.