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New Mental Hospital Structure to reflect New Model of Physchiatric Care

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 – Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony and Chinese Ambassador to Saint Lucia His Excellency Mr. Gu Huaming both expressed similar wishes for the successful completion of the Mental Hospital Facility but also voiced the desire for workers from China and St. Lucia to share a pleasant experience as the two nations come together to bring the over S20 million project to reality.

At the sod turning ceremony on April 3rd,the Prime Minister said there should be an enriching exchange of cultures in an environment which is conducive to maximising productivity.

“I want to emphasise especially to our construction firm that it is vitally necessary that our St. Lucian workers are comfortable, it is vitally necessary that our St. Lucian workers are put in an environment where they can give of their very best. I say this in the hope that as the relationship deepens whatever problems, that emerges from to time, could be resolved within a framework of understanding and of course reasonableness on all sides.”

Prime Minister Anthony broadened the scope of his concern for the workers by alluding to a recent situation requiring the intervention of the Department of Labour Relations.

“It is for this reason that I am very pleased that the contractors responded very, very quickly to the request by the government to ensure that wages here were appropriately adjusted. I will of course, over time, continue to work to ensure that this environment continues to be one where both sides can work together in peace for the greater good of the country.''

His Excellency Mr. Gu Huaming expressed his confidence that the China based Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company Limited will be able to efficiently hand the project over to the Government and People of St. Lucia later this year.

Following the Office and Storage Buildings in the Vieux Fort Free Trade Zone and the National Stadium, both of which were finished on schedule with good quality and have benefited the Saint Lucian people a lot.
The Psychiatric Hospital is the third large project to be aided by the Chinese Government since the two countries established diplomatic relations.

According to the contract, the Chinese contracting company’s staff and materials arrived in Saint Lucia last November. “I am gratified that with the efforts of the parties involved, the preparation work for the site of the project is over and the ground work begins today. We sincerely hope that under full support of the Saint Lucian Government and with the spirit of fearing no hardships and challenges, Anhui Foreign Economy Construction Co. will overcome every difficulty together with friends of all circles and finish the project on time with good quality. A beautiful and modernized Psychiatric Hospital will then be handed over to the Saint Lucian government and people, thus satisfying all of us,” Gu Huaming said.

Upon completion, the Mental Health Facility will resemble a small housing scheme consisting of six buildings overlooking a scenic and tranquil view of Caribbean Sea.

Meanwhile Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Mr. Fidelis Williams said the geographic location of the Mental Health facility is a very deliberate selection on the part of government and their project team.

He says it symbolises the elevation in not only the standard of living but the intention that persons requiring mental health treatment recover fully.

“We are well under way with our Health Reform Agenda,” Williams noted. It has been a long road and there is still along way to go .However the sod turning ceremony signifies one big step on that journey of hope, and one of creating a better healing environment for those of us who are mentally challenged. You will notice that the facility is perched on a hill over looking the peaceful Caribbean Sea. This natural, peaceful environment is going to bring out the best in those who nurture others to health, and also those who receive the nurturing .It is our view that this is bound to have a calming effect on the mind.”

Mr. Williams disclosed that the new model of care will be reflected in the physical structure of the hospital.

“Our objective is to place people in an environment which facilitates healing. In the facility being constructed three levels of care will be provided. Acute Care: these are patients who require a secure environment given of their condition, who are severely mentally challenged and who may have the propensity towards violence against their own persons or others. Assisted Living: Care will be provided to patients who are recovering but are not well enough to care for themselves completely. They will be closely supervised and monitored by medical and other staff. Independent Living: Care will be provided to patients who have recovered to such an extent that they can care for themselves by doing their own domestic matters.”

The entire complex will comprise of an administrative building, acute care facilities, staff facilities, and out-patient facilities. There will also be the high dependency unit and four isolation rooms. Treatment buildings and six independent buildings also feature on the plan.

The 6 independent buildings will comprise 48 assisted living units, and 36 independent living units. The complex will house approximately 104 patients overall.

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