The 220-bed facility, which will be the first such in Jamaica and the Caribbean, will be built on the compound of the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in Montego Bay, with work expected to commence by the end of the current fiscal year, in March 2019.
Funding is being provided under an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement, which was signed on yesterday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, New Kingston, by Portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, on behalf of the Government; and China’s Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Tian Qi.
The signing was witnessed by Health Minister, Dr. the Hon Christopher Tufton.
Senator Johnson Smith said the agreement and, by extension, construction of the hospital represent “another positive development and demonstration of the effective and strong cooperation between our countries”.
She noted that the new facility will better enable Jamaica to reach its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “which we are seeking to attain in every aspect, including health”.
“We are [also] pleased that the hospital will not only create jobs in the construction phase, but in its development and implementation… will have need for more nurses, doctors, anesthetists, caretakers, and more service providers generally. So, we see this hospital as not only [pivotal in] attaining our health SDG, but certainly moving Jamaica towards prosperity,” the Minister added.
The main construction content of Jamaica's second children's hospital, which will offer specialised care to children and adolescents, will include an outpatient building, ward building, apartment for nurses, and a mortuary. In addition, it will have, among other things, a pharmacy, emergency department, laboratory, operation room and department of surgery.
Once completed, the facility, a brainchild of former Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller, is expected to satisfy the needs of those persons who are now forced to travel to Kingston to seek specialist treatment for their children.
Health Minister Dr. Chris Tufton said "The Western Children's Hospital will seek to achieve the vision of developing an international centre of excellence which will cater to the needs of our children. This facility will integrate the values of 'family-centred care' into the design and operations, a first of its kind in Jamaica."
Qingbao noted that the agreement for the hospital's construction is a tangible demonstration of the excellent relations between the countries.
The Chinese will be responsible for the design of the project, supplying necessary construction machinery, equipment, and material, as well the requisite experts to organise construction, installation and testing of hospital equipment.
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