The long wait for better healthcare in Dominica could eventually become a thing of the past with the official opening of the first phase of the State-of-the-Art ‘Dominica China Friendship Hospital’.
On Friday, government officials, opposition members, dignitaries and a large number of well-wishers turned out to witness the ribbon cutting.
This new phase which is expected to benefit citizens, residents and visitors alike will include a new Accident and Emergency Building, one operating theatre, 4 doctor’s clinics, 2 isolation rooms, among many other modern amenities and services.
“There are many citizens in this country who do not have the means of accessing medical care overseas and with this facility you will have the ability to access it right here in Dominica,” Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said while addressing the handing over and opening ceremony held on the Lindo Park grounds in Goodwill on Friday.
He continued, “No longer shall you have to take the ferry or have to travel on LIAT to go out of the country to have an MRI done anymore. They will be coming to us because we have the HiFu Machine that no one else in the Eastern Caribbean has…”
According to Skerrit, the country will be welcoming brothers and sisters from the Caribbean.
“This quality of healthcare is the first for Dominica and it is testament to how our health sector is being radically improved under the labour party administration,” he said.
He went on to say that right beside the new hospital is an ultramodern medical technology wing that will be home on the first floor, “with a new blood bank and a fully equipped lab; that facility [is] on the second floor.”
He added, “On the third floor Dominicans will gain access to the largest dialysis unit this country has ever had as well as a new diagnostic department and ambulatory daycare unit.”
The Prime Minister said the occasion was “indeed a proud moment” for him.
“This is a moment I have envisioned from the time I entered office as prime minister of this country and I am elated to have played a small part like so many others, in bringing the dream to fruition,” he said.
According to the PM Skerrit, the improved infrastructure and the modern approach to medical care that this facility will foster, will also ensure that the brightest and best medical practitioners are attracted to come and work right here in Dominica.
“I said at the ground breaking ceremony that this hospital will be a symbol of who and what we are as a people and that still rings true today,” he stated.
The second phase of the new hospital, Skerrit revealed, will include the construction of a helipad among other amenities.
“Which means if, God forbid, we have to fly somewhere else, the helicopter would come right at the hospital rather than going to Douglas-Charles or the Canefield Airport,” he explained. “The Chinese government has already set aside the financing for the second part.”
He warned that there should be absolutely no negativity associated with this hospital, “nothing but positive vibes and positive adulations of this facility.”
While acknowledging that the overall project is not yet complete, Skerrit declared that “before we ring in the New Year we shall complete another step forward towards improving our country’s ability to provide affordable modern healthcare to our citizens, residents and visitors alike.”
“This is because the second phase of the hospital development has already begun,” the prime minister indicated.