THE newly-constructed St. Jude Hospital morgue has moved one step closer to becoming operational after the building was officially handed over to the Board of Directors of the hospital by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday.
Minister for Health and Wellness, Mary Isaac, along with Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health & Wellness, Felix St. Hill, joined the hospital’s Board of Directors and management team for the handover and a walkthrough of the facility.
Following the walkthrough, the group met at the George Odlum Stadium to discuss the way forward for the morgue. St Hill stated that the plan is to have the facility operational in short order.
“We would like to put it into operation almost immediately. So that is what we’re going to be doing with the morgue. Rather than wait till the completion of the entire hospital, we’re going to put the operations of the morgue into use almost immediately,” St Hill said.
The morgue, along with the ambulance and security monitoring buildings, was constructed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) with financing from the government of Mexico. The keys and operational manuals for the morgue were handed over to the Government of St. Lucia by UNOPS in July after the building was retrofitted.
St. Jude Hospital Chairman, Dr. Ulric Mondesir, said it would have been a more joyous occasion had the entire hospital been handed over to the Board of Directors and people of Vieux Fort.
“I’m in relentless pursuit to see that this hospital, St. Jude Hospital, be opened. If it is opened between December and January, it will be a gift for Christmas to the sick man. It will be a New Year’s gift for the sick man. We need this hospital opened sooner than we think,” Dr. Mondesir said.
The morgue building is located at the original site of St. Jude Hospital. The facility is fully-equipped and also contains water and electricity.