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Dominica Moving Towards a World-Class Healthcare System

February 10, 2020

As Dominica journeys to resiliency, the government also commits on moving towards a world-class healthcare system.

During the 2019-2020 budget presentation, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said that the government will continue to provide optimal healthcare services to all especially to the most vulnerable. 

The promises made are slowly coming into reality as health and medical facilities across the nation are being modernized.

THE HOSPITALS

Opened in September last year, the first phase of the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital (DCFH) presently caters emergency, surgical and dialysis care. 

Works for the second phase including out-patient, medical technology and administrative buildings are underway.

Up North, many are excited and anxious as the much-awaited construction of the new Marigot Hospital has begun. 

Following the successful housing developments, the government has ventured into a new agreement with Montreal Management Consultants Est. (MMCE), to build the new Marigot Hospital. With Rayneau Construction as contractor, the project is envisaged to completed within 12 months. 

Upon completion, the 75-bed capacity hospital will provide complete medical facilities to the residents of Marigot and nearby places. Essential services include Ambulatory Service Unit, Emergency Care, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Maternity and Pediatric Unit, Laboratory and Radiology Services and Trauma Centre.

To date, excavation works have started as site clearing was finished.

BOOSTING PRIMARY HEALTH SERVICES

Health Minister Irving McIntyre is confident that the nation’s primary healthcare system will get its much-needed boosts. 

“We’re bringing health right up into the villages so that we can get a real, proper, primary health care. This will avoid a lot of the complications, and that is why we are putting the health of the people in the hands of the people.” 

Chinese and local contractors will handle the construction of the 12 health centers in the key areas around Dominica namely – Vieille Case, Bellevue Chopin, Mahaut, Lower Penville, Wesley, Marigot, Georgetown, Bagatelle, Newtown, Soufriere, Colihaut, Anse de Mai

Last week, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit lead a team in visiting a few areas to see the facilities up close and personal.

“Things are looking up where health services are concerned. We know this is a topical issue in Dominica-the delivery of health care services, the facilities. So, we are seeking to respond to the challenges and to the concerns of the society and I think we are well on our way with that,” said Skerrit

Residents of the Vieille Case constituency will get to have a first taste of the modern facility as the construction is expected to be completed in 3 to 4 months’ time. Installation of formworks for 1st floor wall up to roof level are being completed.

5 more sites have erection of structures in full swing while excavation works started in Penville and Bagatelle. 

Meanwhile, the developer and the designated contractor await handover of suitable lands for the areas of Anse de Mai, Newtown, Soufriere, and Colihaut to commence construction.

All health centers will have provisions for urgent and round-the-clock medical care.

“The health center has 2 beds for short-term stay for patients, consultation rooms, 2 multi-purpose clinics, we’ve got pharmacy store, vaccine store where drugs can be dispensed. We also have accommodation for nurses and doctors.” Chris Timmins, MMCE Project Director explained.

STILL CLIMATE-RESILIENT

In line with the government’s goal of building back better, Skerrit has assured that all new structures being built are up to par and climate-resilient.

“This health center will be hurricane proof and all part of the resilience building efforts in our country. Whatever structures we put in we are mindful of our exposure to the natural disasters, not only hurricanes but also seismic activities so the designs and the engineering took into consideration the seismic activities in Dominica.”

Like the new Marigot Hospital, the health centers are being funded by the Citizenship by Investment Programme, Dominica’s lifeline after Hurricane Maria.

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