Health Minister credits lobby group for new Sangre Grande Hospital Campus

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh hands over the ceremonial key for the Sangre Grande Hospital Campus to Toco/Sangre Grande MP Roger Munroe, at the commemoration ceremony at Ojoe Road on Saturday. – Angelo Marcelle

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh credited the group Friends of Sangre Grande Hospital as one of the main drivers behind the Sangre Grande Hospital Campus.

“We are here today because of you, we stand, not with you, we don’t stand behind you, we don’t stand in front of you, but we stand on your wide, broad shoulders. You have toiled long and hard for this facility.”

Speaking at a community ceremony commemorating the opening of the campus on Ojoe Road, Sangre Grande on April 27, he stressed they were opening a campus, not a hospital, explaining the original hospital and the new facility were being integrated.

“It’s a campus that is going to serve 157,393 good souls spanning 1,741 square km. You have the biggest RHA (regional health authority) by land area which brings challenges because many areas are remote. But this is going to be the hub, this is going to be the heartbeat of healthcare for all of Toco/Sangre Grande all the way down to Mayaro.”

He said the staff was moving from an RHA that did not have a CT (computerised tomography) machine to now having two as well as an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine. It meant when a patient needed a CT or MRI scan they no longer had to be taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope.

He said with the campus the bed capacity has increased by 106 to 250 beds which meant a faster transition from the accident and emergency department to a ward.

Some of the nurses who were present at the commemoration ceremony of the new Sangre Grande Hospital Campus on April 27. – Angelo Marcelle

New services will also be provided including ear, nose and throat (ENT), fluoroscopy, non-invasive cardiology and pathology services, and there will be an endoscopy suite, critical care units, six operating theatres and more.

Deyalsingh said all services would be delivered with caring, compassion and excellence by all the staff, from the doctors to the security guards.

In a message to doctors who handed out business cards of their private practices at public hospitals, he asked them not to look at a patient as a dollar sign. He said it was the tax dollars of those people which paid for their medical education. He said they had a profession and did not have to repay student loans because of those patients.

The $850 million facility was officially opened on April 17, by the Prime Minister.