New $850m hospital opens in Sangre Grande

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh – AYANNA KINSALE

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said the new Sangre Grande Hospital Campus cost $850 million, VAT-exclusive, and called the facility “pure excellence.”

He said the Eastern Regional Health Authority (ERHA) has always stood as a “beacon of excellence.” Speaking at the hospital opening ceremony at Ojoe Road, Sangre Grande, on Wednesday, Deyalsingh said the facility covered 1,741 square kilometres and served 157,395 people.

He acknowledged challenges faced during the process, which was commissioned on December 30, 2019.

Deyalsingh said politicians disliked questions that probed the completion of a project because there were usually many unexpected circumstances that might arise.

He lamented the covid19 pandemic, saying it was totally unforseen, but the build persevered despite.

He described the hospital and its staff as excellent, saying it served a diverse region filled with fishing villages, towns and markets.

The new hospital has a 106-bed capacity, with the medical, surgical, trauma, orthapedic, and general wards having 24 beds each.

The critical-care ward has ten beds and the intensive-care and high-dependency wards each have four.

Deyalsingh said for the first time, the hospital would have an magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine and an additional computerised tomography (CT) machine, bringing the total to two.

He said there has been an ongoing issue of parking spaces at the hospital and the new facility has 253 spaces, with 160 more coming in the next few months.

“I hope this increased parking space will make life easier for staff and patients.”

The hospital will be opened in phases and Deyalsingh said on Friday, there would be a familiarisation tour for staff of the new facility and by May, adult accidents, emergencies, and patient care would begin. He said the entire opening process would take about two months.

He said as part of the government initiative to digitise the country, the health ministry had taken the call “seriously” to bring the country into a digital era.

“Lost records are an issue, as the population grows, paper grows.”

He acknowledged the issue of archiving physical records. Deyalsingh said the digitisation process is moving “full steam ahead,” and the health ministry’s goal is one patient, one record.

“If you’re living in Diego Martin and you’re in Mayaro and need medical care, we will soon be able to access your information electronically.”

He said three steps were needed for full digitisation: electronic medical records, electronic health records and electronic patient records.

He said the ministry was in phase one, the electronic medical records – when patients within a regional health authority’s records have been digitised.

The ministry’s goal is to get to stage-three, electronic patient record – where the public will be able to make appointments on an app.