Geriatric hospitals to be upgraded
As Government prepares to replace the Geriatric Hospital at Beckles Road with a more modern, state-of-the art facility at Waterford, St Michael, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Shantal Munro-Knight has given the assurance other geriatric hospitals around the island will also be upgraded.
She told the Senate yesterday the Ministry of Health and Wellness has “a comprehensive plan” for the upgrades and money has been set aside in the Budget for this.
Leading off debate on a resolution to approve the compulsory acquisition of land at Waterford, St Michael for the construction of a new geriatric hospital, together with a land swap between Government and a private land owner and developer.
Munro-Knight explained the hospital at Beckles Road faced many challenges, foremost among them, its high vulnerability to natural disasters such as severe flooding in the event of a tsunami.
She added it was an “aging plant” with increasing maintenance costs and an infrastructure that could not withstand the level of renovation that would be needed to make it more “fit for purpose”.
She also revealed that the Beckles Road hospital would be “replaced with a conference facility” that can more ably withstand some of the possible threats.
Murnro-Knight contended it was a more-cost-effective move to build a new hospital as she noted Barbados was at the stage where it needed to consider the long-term needs of care for an elderly population.
“I think there have been ongoing conversations nationally about the fact that we do have an issue in terms of our population growth; in terms of an increasingly elderly population … and therefore when we have an elderly growing population we have to make sure that we think of the future in terms of their needs and in terms of the requirements in terms of that facility.” (GC)