Thursday, September 29, 2005 – The standard of services delivered at the
island’s oldest health institution – the Victoria Hospital in Castries, has been
given a significant boost. This is a result of a joint project between the
National Insurance Corporation (NIC) and the Government of Saint Lucia.
The focus of the project was to strengthen areas needing urgent developmental
and technological support, in order to upgrade the hospital’s ability to
efficiently care for patients.
Some two years after the project was initiated officials of the Ministry of
Health. Human Services Family Affairs and Gender Relations, along with NIC
representatives on Friday 23rd, September 2005 hosted the commissioning of the
upgraded units and departments.
These include the Owen King Operating Theatres, a six bed Intensive and Cardiac
Care Unit (ICU) (CCU) a three bed recovery room, a new central sterilisation
Service Department and the provision of Laboratory, Radiology and Imaging
services at the hospital. Ventilatory Support equipment was also installed in
the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Finance for the overall undertaking was made available by the National Insurance
Corporation (NIC) in the amount of $2.3 million while the Government of Saint
Lucia made a counterpart contribution of $146,814 specifically to facilitate
minor civil works and the provision of furniture.
Speaking at the ceremony, Director of the NIC Ms. Emma Hippolyte noted that the
money was specifically intended to empower Victoria Hospital to deliver the best
Minister for Health, Human Services, Family Affairs and Gender Relations
Honourable Damian Greaves speaking at the commissioning ceremony noted the
institution will continue to make an indelible mark on health care in the
country. He said converting the Hospital into a polyclinic, in the future, seems
to be a probable course of action. However the Minister said the matter is still
“There is a committee now headed by Dr. King in the Ministry of Health looking
at several options for the premises of Victoria Hospital including the option of
a Level 4 facility, namely the Castries Poly-clinic, offering a wide range of
services to the Castries public.”
Speaking to an audience of mainly doctors and nurses of the Victoria Hospital
the health minister said the hospital staff will be protected under the new
arrangements and new governance which will be introduced to the facility.
Minister Greaves says it is expected that ongoing consultations lead to further
progress next year.
“Consultations seem to be moving very well thus far. I am hoping these
consultations come to completion in December and I’m hoping that by the first
quarter of the next financial year 2006/2007 that we shall see a new governance
structure and a new orientation at the Victoria Hospital as we make the move to
the new national hospital.”
Meanwhile Honourable Greaves disclosed that there will be the upgrading of
several departments and units including the Out patient Clinic, the Accident and
Emergency Department and the upgrading of the Central Medical Stores.
The Dental Unit of the Castries Health Centre will also be relocated to more
conducive accommodation at the hospital and the Eye Health Care will also come
on stream soon.
On the occasion of Saint Lucia’s Independence Jubilee in 2003 which also
coincided with the National Insurance Corporation’s 25th anniversary, the
Cooperation vouched a gift of $ 2.1 million dollars to the nation.