By Latrishka Thomas
Minister of Works Lennox Weston said that after the coronavirus epidemic has subsided, every building at the old Holberton Hospital will be retrofitted to become he “second campus of Mount St John’s”.
“The original plan for Mount St John was engaging in export of services and of course, it quickly outgrew the space. What this will allow you to do in a second campus at Mount St John’s is to give it more facilities and to allow dedicated facilities.”
While on a tour of a few of the projects being undertaken by his ministry, Weston said that the retrofitted facility will include a lab “that can virtually test everything, that can provide regional services”; a centre for one-day surgeries; commercial centres; and other treatment facilities.
He also said that dialogue has already begun with professionals at Mount St John’s Medical Center (MSJMC) regarding the plans for the facility.
The Public Works minister also disclosed that the financial burden will rest solely on the government.
“We are going to fix every building out of our own resources, no special financing, no big loans, no big hoorah, no 40 million, but this is going to transform the health care unit.”
Meanwhile, Weston said the quarantine facility which is currently being constructed at the Holberton Hospital should be ready in another week, while the lab and some additional spaces for emergency and long-term care will be completed in another three weeks.
The facility will consist of a quarantine unit, isolation ward, nurses’ quarters and a lab. The unit also has several self-contained rooms some distance away from the isolation unit, which will be occupied by persons who have been confirmed with the virus.
A tour was also conducted of the Industrial Court being constructed above the Cost Pro Supermarket in the Woods Mall complex, the Peasant Development Office (PDO) premises on Valley Road, and the building that once housed the Treasury on High Street, and is being repurposed to relocate the Civil Registry Department.
According to Weston, the PDO, which once served as the main office for the Ministry of Agriculture’s Extension Division, should be ready for use in about two weeks, while the former Treasury building should be ready to commence operations under its new function in three weeks. The modern Industrial Court facility, consisting of two courtrooms, a conference room, a typist room and offices, should take about two to three weeks to complete.