On Wednesday February 10th the Governor General of Saint Lucia, Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, received a personal tour of the New National Hospital, soon to be known as the Owen King EU Hospital at the official naming ceremony on Sunday February 21st. The naming of the hospital forms part of the activities marking Saint Lucia’s 37th Anniversary of Independence.
At the commencement of the tour the Governor General was presented with copy of the 2016 Millennium Heights Medical Complex Calendar by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Conitha Thomas who was among a team of officials from the Ministry present to receive the Governor General. The nearly-two-hour tour allowed the Governor General to see first-hand some of the key areas within the new hospital which are lacking at the Victoria Hospital or significantly improve on the facilities there; areas such as the Paediatric Ward, Special Baby Care Unit, Central Sterilization Services Department, Physiotherapy Department, the state-of-the-art Operating Theatres, Expanded A&E Department, Radiology – equipped with the latest technology such as mammography and MRI equipment, and the Intensive Care Unit.
“It is a very impressive building and my fervent hope is that we keep it as functional as it is and as anticipated. I can look and see that it is an expensive undertaking but just to keep it running it’s going to be as expensive, I suspect. Everybody I met, the nurses, were very excited and I made the point to them; I said, ‘I hope in the next year or two you are as excited as you are today,’ and they all promised that they would be and they are really looking forward to it. So I am glad I had that opportunity and I can say to the whole of Saint Lucia and the region that we have indeed a first class health facility,” the Governor General said at the end of the tour.
Dame Pearlette added that she has been to other facilities in some developed countries and the New National Hospital, in her view, ranks right alongside the best of them. “My fervent hope really is that we can keep it and maintain it and deliver the type of healthcare that we all deserve.” Commissioning Director for the New National Hospital, Dwight Calixte, said, “The tour by the Governor General marks the next phase of public awareness for the hospital. Moving forward, grouping such as Staff Associations, the Chamber of Commerce, schools round the island, the Medical and Dental Association and the media will be invited to tour the facility to get a first-hand view of the offering of the new hospital.” The European Union funded both the construction and equipping of the Owen King EU Hospital, an ultra-modern treatment and care facility, to the tune of EC $167 million. The new hospital is the largest infrastructural project ever executed by the European Union in the Eastern Caribbean.