Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie (left) in dialogue with administrators of the Falmouth Infirmary during a tour of the facility.
The parish of Trelawny is shortlisted to benefit from a joint venture between the ministries of local government and health to provide 200 bed spaces in infirmaries for patients who have been abandoned at public hospitals, for over a year in some cases.
The announcement was made by Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie during last week’s sitting of the Trelawny Parish Council’s monthly meeting.
“There is a programme between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Local Government where we will be providing over 200 bed spaces in our infirmaries to alleviate the problems that presently exist in our public hospitals. So Trelawny is on a shortlist of infirmaries,”McKenzie noted.
He further noted: “We are going to be looking at putting in more beds in the infirmary (in Falmouth) [and], upgrading the infirmary. And we are going to be working closely with the Ministry of Health, because... Trelawny is one of those parishes....where you find a number of persons occupying hospital beds for more than a year because they have nowhere to go.”
In response to a query from councillor of the Ulster Spring Division, Dr Pauline Foster, the local government minister also revealed that discussions are also underway between his ministry and the health ministry for the provision of additional funding “ for the staffing of the additional facilities”.
“That was a part of the discussions that I had with the minister (of health) this (last) week about the additional staffing complement which we are looking at and which we are going to be making provisions within the estimates for next year after that,” McKenzie stated.
Meanwhile, before embarking on a tour of the Trelawny Infirmary, McKenzie noted that, “The ministry has provided recently, some $2 million to undertake repairs to the roof of the infirmary here in the parish.”
He said: “We are going to be exploring the possibility in expanding” a building that was provided on the grounds of the infirmary, which is now being used to house the patients until the repairs are completed.
“These are discussions we are going to engage the council in,” McKenzie remarked.