Carriacou, Grenada, 24 March 2023 (PAHO) – As part of the Smart Health Care Facilities in the Caribbean Project, the upgraded Princess Royal Smart Hospital and the Hillsborough Smart health Centre, were officially handed over to the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Religious Affairs today.
Together with the first retrofitted facility the Princess Alice Smart Hospital, as well as Richmond Home for the Elderly and the Central Medical Stores, these five ‘Smart’ facilities mark the completion of the retrofitting stages of the project in Grenada. The contractor BEQ MAC, together with inspection firm Construction Advisory Services Ltd upgraded the facilities to become safer, greener, and more resilient to natural disasters and climate change. These facilities are now at the ‘gold’ SMART standard level which means scoring an A on the hospital safety index and reaching at least a 70% greening score which are firsts for Grenada.
All the ‘Smart’ health care facilities were retrofitted to improve their resistance to disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes and to boost the greenness or efficiency of the facility.
The safety aspects included the installation of wind resistant roofs, windows and doors. Walls were strengthened, electrical wiring renewed, sewage treatment system and an improved fire safety system installed. Functional aspects of the retrofit included specific improvements to accessibility for the disabled, telecommunication, back-up power and infection control.
The green scope of works provided for more efficient cooling and natural ventilation, plumbing, rainwater harvesting, the installation of LED-lighting and solar water heaters. All actions are aimed at lowering the operating expenditures and environmental footprint.
The Resident British Commissioner Grenada, Mr. Victor Clark said, “I am delighted to be here for the handover of these two critical upgraded health facilities and see their transformation. Our UK grant is instrumental in supporting Grenada’s efforts to reduce disaster vulnerability of vital public buildings and boost its climate resilience. It has also provided a helpful platform for risk reduction planning within the health sector. COVID -19 has further highlighted the importance of disaster preparedness and contingency measures at health facilities for staff and patients. The improvements will require careful and timely maintenance in order that they continue to operate and deliver their services most effectively for the people of Grenada.”
Hon Gayton LaCrette, Minister of Health, Wellness and Religious Affairs said “We are extremely pleased that we are able to embrace the smarting of our health care facilities both tertiary and primary with the assistance from the UK government. We want to say a special thank you, it has been echoed numerous times but as Minister with responsibility for health I also want to echo our appreciation and thanks for the partnership that we have with the UK government as well as PAHO for agreeing to be the implementing body for such a facility. “
The PAHO/WHO representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Countries, Dr. Amalia Del Riego said, “Grenada is one of the countries of the Caribbean region prone to natural hazards and high-risk to disasters, therefore, it is crucial for health facilities to be able to deliver care and protect its staff and patients during these conditions. Through this partnership with the UK Government, we can strengthen structural aspects and generate operational savings in environmentally friendly and resilient health facilities.” She also said that PAHO is committed to working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Religious Affairs for the success of the project which will ensure that all members of the communities are able to receive the best quality of healthcare possible while promoting environmental sustainability.”
Hon. Tevin Andrews, Minister for Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs and Local Government in his remarks said, “On behalf of the people of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, staff of the Princess Royal Smart Hospital and the Hillsborough Smart Health Centre we are grateful to the government and people of the United Kingdom and PAHO for implementing this project. We really appreciate the efforts you have made and look forward to other partnerships as we continue to transform our health care system on the island of Carriacou and Petit Martinique and by extension Grenada.
The £46.3m Strengthening Health Facilities in the Caribbean (Smart Hospital) project is currently implemented in 7 countries: Dominica, St. Lucia, Grenada, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, Belize, Guyana and Jamaica. The project is funded by UKaid and implemented by PAHO in close collaboration with the Ministries of Health.
SAFER + GREENER + MAINTAINED = SMART