The Dennery Hospital re-opened its doors to the general public yesterday (July 16) and will be offering expanded services to patients in the area.
The hospital was reconstructed and furnished with new equipment at the cost of $2.4 million with support from the World Bank. The opening hours will now be 6 a.m. to midnight instead of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Health Minister Alvina Reynolds told a gathering of residents and health officials at the opening, that the hospital will now boost an expanded administrative, child and adolescents services department. Men’s health care has been added to the list of new services being offered.
She said the refurbished health facility was built on a strong foundation to resist future destruction. Reynolds added that while some challenges were experienced during the initial stage of construction, the partners in the project managed to pull through with it.
“This new structure provides for you, our clients, a more comfortable setting for service delivery. The facility is the first to truly embrace integrated services with a central point of registration for all clients accessing health care. The health information system, which is a new retrieval, allows quick retrieval and sharing of case files, yet the security features enhance privacy access to health workers,” the minister said.
The hospital was closed for about four years after it was destroyed by Hurricane Tomas in 2010. Since then residents of Dennery were forced to use the Richfond and La Ressource Health Centres. This created some issues for staff at the two health centres because they had to deal with more patients on a daily basis.
Nevertheless, they managed to provide health care services to those in need. The minister used this opportunity to commend the nurses and other health officials at both centres. Apart from that, Reynolds gave a sound warning to residents, not to threaten the lives of hospital staff.
Meanwhile, the minister also urged residents to avoid using the Victoria Hospital unless it is a case of emergency. She advised them to utilise the hospital first before using any other health institutions. Residents were urged to take responsibility for ensuring that the hospital remains in a good condition. They were also urged to report any reports of theft or vandalism.
Residents, on the other hand, praised government for re-opening the hospital and said it will serve the community well. The absence of the hospital has caused residents trouble to get quick and effective medical care based on the high number of patients that were seeking care at the two health centres, more specifically the Richfond Health Centre.
Built in 1954, the Dennery Hospital is a community-based health care facility serving about 10,000 people in communities from Barre De Lisle in the north to Praslin in the south.