Regional

New dining room for St Elizabeth Infirmary

Monday, November 20, 2017

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Santa Cruz , St Elizabeth — For years, Joycelyn Bryan, matron of the St Elizabeth Infirmary has been lobbying, for a new dining room so residents of the institution can dine in comfort and with dignity.

Finally, after much “writing and begging”, the Ministry of Local Government and the St Elizabeth Parish Council provided the funds. The project started last year and was recently completed.

So, it was with a sense of accomplishment that Bryan recently hosted Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie, mayor of Black River Derrick Sangster, among other officials at an official opening of the new dining room.

“We are happy. Now there is more space, it's comfortable, and they [residents of the infirmary] can sit down to eat without having to squeeze up on each other,” Bryan told Jamaica Observer Central.

In addition to public sector assistance, help came from friends of the St Elizabeth Infirmary and Jamaicans abroad to purchase fixtures, including chairs and fans.

“We are very thankful for all the help we have received… we want to assure everyone that we will be taking good care of our new facilities,” Bryan said.

Now she is bidding to acquire a television set, “to be placed on the wall” so the home's residents can watch the news and other programming during rest and recreational time.

At the recent function, McKenzie also brought news that provision will be made in the next budget for the construction of a new administrative wing at the St Elizabeth Infirmary.

According to the Jamaica Information Service the minister explained that money already allocated for the project went towards the setting up of a centre on the grounds of the St James Infirmary, to accommodate people who were abandoned at the Cornwall Regional Hospital.

“There was a need for us to assist the Ministry of Health in facilitating those patients… who had nowhere to go,” McKenzie noted.

“I am, however, now committing that, in the new financial year, we will put back that $27 million for the construction of the new administrative wing,” he pledged.

The St Elizabeth Infirmary has 55 residents and 27 staff members.

— Garfield Myers

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