Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh made this revelation yesterday during a tour of the site for the new hospital which will be on 16 acres of land at the corner of Techier and the Point Fortin Main Road. He said the hospital’s steel infrastructure was 100 percent complete and the building is 40 percent complete overall.
He said the new 100-bed hospital will be a dedicated secondary health care facility and will offer services in general medicine, general surgery, burns, psychiatry, paediatric/adolescence, high dependency and accident and emergency.
There are three types of health care facilities: primary, secondary and tertiary, with primary health care dealing with accident and emergency cases and outpatient clinics. Secondary care includes warding a patient at hospital. Tertiary care institutions offer more advanced procedures such as heart surgery.
Deyalsingh said the old Point Fortin District hospital, which has 39 beds, would be rehabilitated to accommodate long-termcare patients as well as social cases from the San Fernando General Hospital.
Deyalsingh said staffing would pose some challenges including doctors, consultants and registrars but he has already begun to address the problem and has recommended refurbishment of two bungalows at the old hospital to accommodate the doctors. On the Couva Children’s Hospital, Deyalsingh said its integration into the network of health institutions had not yet been decided.
“Once we decide how we are going to integrate Couva, then we will start...we have already started: how we will integrate staffing there and what type of staffing we will need depending on the model of usage of that facility,” he said.
Asked whether patients may have to pay for their health care, given the economic situation, Deyalsingh said: “It is never the policy to have patients pay for services.” The contractor for the new Hospital is the Austrian firm VAMED GmbH & Co KG.