Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Minority Leader Watson Duke supports the construction of the Roxborough Hospital. However, he said some aspects of the hospital's construction make him sick.
“I support the initiative, not the design and/or its layout. I support the establishment of a hospital, not the model which is based on deception,” said Duke, the political leader of the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) and electoral representative for Roxborough/Delaford.
Duke promised to say more at a later date.
On July 17, the Prime Minister turned the sod at the Bloody Bay Road, Roxborough site for the hospital, officially beginning the construction of the $60 million project. Upon completion, the hospital is expected to be a state-of-the-art facility which will serve the people of Tobago East.
The sod turning was held on the heels of two public consultations at Roxborough Health Centre and Charlotteville Public Library. During this, residents requested that the new hospital and health centre should be on the same compound and that Udecott revisit the site and direction of the flow of water from the river, because of the current flooding problem. They also felt a heliport should be constructed at the hospital and that the hospital should not be elevated. The residents also called for accommodation to be provided for doctors and nurses so they could overnight, saying that 40 per cent of the staff should be from the Roxborough community.
Construction is estimated to last 15 months and be completed by October 31, 2020. Udecott is the project manager responsible for request for proposals and procurement of services for the construction of the hospital.
Both primary and secondary care services will be offered at the new facility. Wellness programmes and disease prevention activities will continue to be provided at the primary care level. Secondary care services at the new hospital will include: emergency room; operating theatre; medical, surgical, paediatric and maternity wards; intensive care unit; nursery and clinical support services (imaging, laboratory, pharmacy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dialysis unit and helipad for transferring emergencies.)
Addressing the sod turning, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister and Tobago East MP Ayanna Webster-Roy said she was happy the project was becoming a reality.
Webster-Roy also expressed thanks to Dr Keith Rowley and the government for honouring the commitment to develop her constituency.
Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Development Dr Agatha Carrington said Tobagonians can expect to see an integration of healthcare services.
“We agreed to improve public health, to enhance family development, strengthen our resources, look at our research and development framework, and in keeping with that promise, we are improving primary and secondary care,” she said.