RESIDENTS of Roxborough and environs have welcomed the start of construction for the Roxborough hospital, as the sod was turned on Wednesday to signal the start of construction.
At the ceremony, Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles explained that the new facility will be a micro-hospital with the power to have a macro-impact in the east.
“The establishment of this new hospital has the potential to forever change the pace of healthcare in Tobago.
“This project requires an estimated $60 million in expenditure and will comprise of an emergency room, various wards ranging from medical to surgical, a newborn nursery, an operating theatre and an isolation unit. The support service includes medical imaging, a laboratory, a pharmacy, a dialysis unit, as well as physical and operational therapy."
Charles said he was also advised that the facility will have a helipad for emergency airlifts to Trinidad.
"It is safe to say that the needs of the people have been clinically examined, and we at the Tobago House of Assembly remain extremely dedicated to the enhancement of personal and community health.”
He said talk of a hospital in Roxborough has been around for some time and he was happy to see that it is soon to become a reality.
“We are setting the seed for the beginning of another monumental chapter for the people of Roxborough and neighbouring communities. This forms part of the administration’s quest to ensure greater equity among Tobagonians – that the lives of those living in the East must be consistent in quality with those living in the West.”
Charles told the audience his administration intends to strategically develop the northeast of the island, while also respecting the features and attributes which have contributed to its identity and uniqueness.
“I have listened to some of the stories and experiences of our brothers and sisters living in the east, and many of them, understandably, have yearned for the day when a medical hospital is erected within their zone. Indeed, for the day when a trip to the Scarborough general hospital at Signal Hill is no longer a mandatory decision but an optimal one."
He noted the creation of the Roxborough hospital also increases the island’s employment opportunities for medical professionals on the island.
“There are many unemployed medical professionals who are desperately craving a chance to do what they’ve studied and what they love."
The Prime Minister, in his address, pledged the Government’s commitment.
“I want to tell you, as Prime Minister of TT, if we behave well, if we have the right attitude, the future of TT is a bright one. If we invest in what is good for the people, our future is a bright one. If we allocate on what the people’s interest calls for and give priorities in our allocation and we ensure that there are square pegs in square holes, and every dollar that belongs to the State is spent uncorrupted, then the future of TT is a bright one."
Rowley said Roxborough is overcoming a period of decline and what is on the horizon is a prosperous future. He said with the focus on developing the infrastructure and communication capacity, east Tobago has now become one of the most attractive places in TT.
"What we expect is greater use and greater staying power for the population in this community because, before, everyone wanted to move out and go where the facilities were available, but as we bring them to you, more persons would want to stay in the area, conduct business in the area, build in the area and have economic operations in the area.”
On July 11, the Roxborough administrative complex was officially commissioned, with the hope of transforming the day-to-day lives of those living in the eastern end of the island. It will house services such as the Licensing Office, the Registrar of Births and Deaths, T&TEC, Social Welfare, the Board of Inland Revenue, Postal Service and the Election and Boundaries Commission, among others. Work began at the facility in 2017, and it was constructed at a cost of $33 million.