Hos­pi­tal Nam­ing this Sun­day

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

For sev­eral weeks now the com­mit­tee plan­ning the nam­ing cer­e­mony for the New Na­tional Hos­pi­tal has been work­ing as­sid­u­ously to plan a cer­e­mony fit­ting of the sig­nif­i­cant gift of the fa­cil­ity funded by the Euro­pean Union.

The Min­istry of Health, and the Govern­ment of Saint Lu­cia, re­gards this oc­ca­sion as a very proud and sig­nif­i­cant mo­ment when the New Na­tional Hos­pi­tal will of­fi­cially as­sume the name of one of Saint Lu­cia’s most dis­tin­guished physicians, Dr. Owen King, and recog­nise the con­tri­bu­tion of the EU in fund­ing this state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity.

The New Na­tional Hos­pi­tal is the largest in­fras­truc­tural pro­ject ever ex­e­cuted by the Euro­pean Union in the East­ern Caribbean. This ul­tra-mod­ern treat­ment and care fa­cil­ity was funded to the tune of 167 mil­lion East­ern Caribbean dol­lars which in­cludes both the con­struc­tion and equip­ping of the hos­pi­tal.

Af­ter the nam­ing cer­e­mony to­mor­row, Sun­day Fe­bru­ary 21st, the New Na­tional Hos­pi­tal will of­fi­cially be known as the Owen King EU Hos­pi­tal.

Dwight Cal­ixte, Com­mis­sion­ing Di­rec­tor for the New Na­tional Hos­pi­tal, noted the Min­istry of Health’s ex­cite­ment about this ac­tiv­ity which also forms part of the com­mu­ni­ca­tion strat­egy for the new hos­pi­tal.

“It is a chris­ten­ing, as it may, for our new fa­cil­ity. We will ba­si­cally be wel­com­ing our part­ners into our fa­cil­ity for the first time, to al­low them to see what has been done and what has been promised,” Cal­ixte said.

He ex­plained that the nam­ing cer­e­mony marks an­other step along the phases to be un­der­taken in re­al­iz­ing the even­tual open­ing of the fa­cil­ity: “Presently we are look­ing at the test­ing phase of the fa­cil­ity, work­ing to­wards cer­ti­fi­ca­tion en­sur­ing that the me­chan­i­cal, elec­tri­cal, wa­ter sys­tems of the fa­cil­ity are up to code and meet the stan­dards for op­er­a­tion. That is our ini­tial phase. Once the in­stal­la­tion of the equip­ment is done, we will also have to go through a com­mis­sion­ing of that as well. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously we will look at the train­ing and up­grad­ing of skills, what we re­quire to de­liver the care and qual­ity of ser­vice that we want to de­liver at the fa­cil­ity. And then fi­nally we will have the pin­na­cle for this fa­cil­ity which is the move of our ac­tual de­part­ments and pa­tients which will also hap­pen in a phased ap­proach.”

Min­is­ter for Health, Well­ness, Hu­man Ser­vices and Gen­der Re­la­tions, Hon. Alv­ina Reynolds, ex­pressed her own ex­cite­ment for this phase of the pro­ject not­ing the pub­lic’s an­tic­i­pa­tion for the even­tual open­ing of the fa­cil­ity.

“We have been work­ing very hard to­wards re­al­iz­ing th­ese fi­nal few phases of tran­si­tion­ing, and it’s height­ened right now in the nam­ing cer­e­mony that is to hap­pen on Sun­day where of­fi­cially this fa­cil­ity will be chris­tened, you can call it that, and it’s no longer New Na­tional or Com­plex or what­ever. We re­ally want to say thank you to Dr. Owen King who has served Saint Lu­cia well but, more than that, say thank you to the EU and to cre­ate that ex­cite­ment among the peo­ple of Saint Lu­cia that we are mov­ing to an­other level,” Reynolds says.

Prime Min­is­ter of Saint Lu­cia, Hon. Dr. Kenny D. An­thony has been quoted as say­ing, “This is a mon­u­men­tal achieve­ment for our coun­try and its peo­ple. It sets a plat­form for bet­ter qual­ity med­i­cal treat­ment for all Saint Lu­cians and a bet­ter means of de­liv­ery of health­care. We say thanks to our friends of the Euro­pean Union for re­al­iz­ing this na­tional dream.”

An aerial view of the new med­i­cal com­plex which will be of­fi­cially

named to­mor­row.

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