New $48-million ward opens at Manchester Infirmary

MANDEVILLE, Manchester – When Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie stepped into the newly constructed ward at the Manchester Infirmary last Friday, he was amazed at the modern look of the facility.

The $48-million facility, outfitted with 41 beds to accommodate female residents, is one of five projects at infirmaries that have benefited from a $200-million allocation from the National Housing Trust (NHT).

The female residents of the Manchester Infirmary now have a state-of-the-art ward to call their home.

McKenzie lauded the local municipality for its oversight of the facility.

“The Manchester Municipal Corporation has demonstrated a level of competence [and] strong management in the execution of the construction that has been undertaken at this facility over the last five years,” he said.

He thanked the NHT for funding the project which will benefit the most vulnerable people.

“A big word of thanks to the National Housing Trust [NHT]. I want to place on record the gratitude of the Ministry of Local Government to the NHT, because when the present Minister of Finance [Nigel Clarke] was chairman of the NHT [board], there was some arrangement that was made years ago for the NHT to provide some funding to assist some social programmes,” McKenzie stated.

“That [over] $200 million that was provided by the NHT has benefited Westmoreland, St Elizabeth, Portland, Hanover and Manchester,” he added.

He reiterated that infirmaries were being modernised for the comfort of residents.

“They [NHT] have not only provided the funding for the building but they have also provided…room for us to put in our solar water system, water harvesting, and we now have in all our infirmaries modern equipment,” he said.

“All our infirmaries are equipped with standby generators, so no longer when lights [are] out [will] the workers have to be running to find [a] tinning lamp and candle[s]. As the light goes, the generator comes on,” he added.

He said the infirmaries have been outfitted with autoclave machines and therapeutic parks to offer to the residents “the kind of comfort that they deserve”.

Meanwhile, Donovan Mitchell, mayor of Mandeville and councillor for the Royal Flat Division where the infirmary is located, described the new ward as “first class”.

“I am elated! This is a first class facility for our residents. I want to thank the staff for waiting this long time, because the female residents are temporarily located on [another] side of the property. We want to thank the ministry and our staff for completing the project on time and within budget,” he said.

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