MEMBER of Parliament (MP) for Portland Eastern Ann-Marie Vaz has issued an appeal for urgent attention to the Type B Port Antonio Hospital in her constituency.
Making her contribution to the State of the Constituency Debate in the House of Representatives of Wednesday Vaz argued that the hospital is no longer able to meet the demands it faces.
“My big-ticket item today is a request that an action team be set up to actively begin plans for the relocation of the Port Antonio Hospital which has outgrown its current capacity,” said Vaz.
“With the increase in population and anticipated developments this situation is now untenable. Action is needed now,” added Vaz in an address she dubbed ‘Nurturing the Trees of Prosperity’.
The original Port Antonio Hospital was built on the Titchfield Peninsula but quickly outgrew its capacity. It was subsequently relocated to the present site in the Naylor’s Hill community and officially opened in May 1943.
It now offers internal medicine, general surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatric medicine, and anaesthesiology, but Vaz is calling for even more.
“Port Antonio hospital needs a mammogram machine. Portland, St Mary, and St Thomas have no machine, so this is long overdue. We want you to put this in your [next] budget,” said Vaz in a direct plea to Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton.
“Let this be the last year that my sisters have to make this journey by bus from Portland to get tested. After all, our health is our wealth and we must do all to protect it,” added Vaz.
She pointed out that in the past four years her Action Ann Foundation, working with stakeholders, has carried out a free mammogram programme to assist women in Portland.