Mandeville outpatients want facility to remain at SDA churchThursday, September 09, 2021
BY KASEY WILLIAMS
MANDEVILLE, Manchester - Operations at the relocated Mandeville Regional Hospital outpatient department progressed so smoothly yesterday that some patients are hoping that the facility remains at the Mandeville Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church.
“Mi feel comfortable, because mi come, and mi get through. The place is more spacious and over here is better. Mi more comfortable over here, so for the long term it would be good,” outpatient Marcia Edwards told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
The outpatient department was yesterday relocated to the SDA church, which is about 100 metres from the hospital on Caledonia Road.
Meanwhile, an outpatient who asked not to be named, was so pleased with the service yesterday that he wished the department would remain on the church grounds over the long term.
“This right here is very good because, as you can see, the whole heap a space. There's no social distancing problem here and even after COVID eases up, it's still better to stay over here, because the environment is pleasant. They need to make here permanent,” he said.
Chief executive officer at the Mandeville Regional Hospital Alwyn Miller said there will be an assessment of the current crisis before returning to the hospital grounds.
“Definitely, at some point in time we will return. We are supposed to be here for a period of time. We will evaluate the situation and, depending on the circumstance, we will decide where to go from there,” he said.
Urology, medicine, ear, nose, and throat (ENT) and antenatal clinics were open to the public yesterday at the temporary location.
“We have made provisions for our patients, putting tents and so forth, seating to accommodate our patients and, so far, that has gone pretty well,” said Miller.
“In terms of our staff, [it is a] new environment, but they have adjusted well, and the services are going on,” he added.
He was grateful to the Mandeville SDA Church for granting the use of the facility.
“It was given to us free of cost to use for the duration that we will be here. We are very grateful that they have done this. It certainly helps us as a hospital in delivering our service to the patients,” he said.
“In terms of retrofitting, provision of tents, other amenities and so forth, approximately $2 million [was spent],” he added.
“The idea to move it [to] over here came from the situation with the spike in number of [COVID-19] cases, where the designated isolation wards had their capacity exceeded. We repurposed three additional wards – paediatric, male and female medical – to accommodate COVID patients and we realised that patients who didn't have COVID were being displaced and had to be placed in A&E (accident and emergency).
“We tried as best as an institution to separate the COVID-positive patients from the regular patients,” he said.
In the meantime, he said COVID-19 vaccination has been going well at the hospital, particularly on the lockdown days and the weekends. “Up to yesterday morning crowds were over there — vehicles parked all the way out onto the road. However, I guess because people have resumed work or normal activity, we are not seeing those crowds today,” Miller said yesterday..