The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) on Wednesday commissioned new staff quarters which cost over $280 million.
The apartments will save the Corporation an estimated $20 million on rentals, said Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brigadier George Lewis.
“As we seek to improve the services we offer to patients, we have not forgotten the persons who provide that service – doctors, nurses, medical and other supporting staff,” said the hospital’s CEO.
The original buildings which housed doctors of the hospital fell into disrepair and were closed in 2013. But it was until 2017 that the process began to repair the buildings.
On Wednesday, the new facilities were commissioned by President David Granger.
The original staff quarters, which housed doctors, had 19 rooms, but a new design allowed it to have 41-apartments. There are 16 one-bedroom studio-type apartments, 18 two-bedroom apartments and seven three-bedroom apartments.
The management of the Corporation has decided that the facilities will not only accommodate doctors but other categories of staff and those who visit to support the work of the hospital.
Lewis said that the criteria for occupancy has not yet been finalised but priority will be given to those persons whose rentals the Corporation currently covers.
Chair of the Board of Directors, Kesaundra Alves urged those who will use the buildings to take care of it as their own home, mindful of the public funds that were used.
“As we build more public health facilities, and improve public health infrastructure throughout this country, it is laudable that infrastructure that benefits our health workers has not been left out of the equation,” said Alves.
Construction of the facilities was divided into three contracts; the North Block cost $131.4 million, the South Block cost $100 million and the Eastern Block cost $50 million.
President Granger commended the Ministry of Public Health and the GPHC for their collaboration on the project.
“Many doctors work ‘on-call’ and it is always desirable if they can reside somewhere where they would be able to respond faster to their “calls”.
“The Staff Quarters, just a short distance away from the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation will make it easier for the doctors to respond more quickly to emergencies,” President Granger stated.
The President said the construction of the staff quarters is testament to his government’s commitment to ensuring universal access to public health coverage by ensuring that doctors are comfortably housed.