Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Helen Royer has revealed that two buildings have been identified for the temporary relocation of the Marigot Hospital which was shut down due to mold and fungus.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday she said work will begin as soon as possible and relocation will not exceed more than three months.
She said the situation is considered as a priority to the Ministry of Health in the wake of the closure.
“We have come to a final decision on the proposed accommodation for the relocation of the entire team, that is the A&E Department and the Health Centre. We have gotten two houses at very close proximity with each other,” she said. “One will be housing the Accident and Emergency Department and one, the Community Health Centre. I think based on the discussions with staff, I must say that they were very appreciative of the support from the central administration and they are working feverishly with us.”
She stated that staff has started cleaning up the areas where they are supposed to move in and work will start as soon as possible.
Royer explained that retrofitting work is needed to be done on only one of the houses, while the other is “move ready.”
“We can move almost immediately as soon as it is cleaned,” she said.
She called on the Marigot population to exercise patience in the matter.
“We know that they have exercised a lot of patience with us but we are still again asking for your patience as we look to bring in a conclusion to that whole issue,” she said.
Royer commended the staff of the Hospital and Health Centre for their resilience.
“Actually what has happened to Marigot it is really worth noting that our staff have committed themselves to ensuring that the public receives care and they have to be commended for that,” she stated. “You know in many instances when you have those types of issues you find persons not reporting to work. They have all reported to work …nobody stayed home because of the issue.”
She explained the situation which led to the closure of the facility.
Royer stated that as of May 23rd the Ministry of Health received notification of the presence of mold and fungus at one segment of the building which houses the Marigot Health District inclusive of the hospital, the Health Centre and the dental area.
“Basically, there was minor mold growth affecting one panel of a window and just early signs of mold infestation around the AC Unit,” Royer explained. “A few recommendations were made to the Ministry of Health and then we started to take some actions as it relates to dealing with the issue.”
She further explained that on the 6th of June the Ministry of Health received information that the mold was no longer just in the dental unit but has spread to other areas like the Accident and Emergency Department.
The Ministry of Health and the Environment formally announced the temporary closure of the hospital on Thursday, June 9.
Officials in the Ministry of Health plans to meet with Marigot residents to further address the situation.