The operating theatre at the Alexandra Hospital has been torn down to make way for a state-of-the art EC$18 million construction and upgrade at the hospital.

The Observer was on site July 5 at the Alexandra Hospital grounds and saw an excavator jack hammer drilling and pulling down the sides of the former operating theatre. The demolition created minimal dust. Workers and others there watched the demolition process.

The temporary operating theatre is now located in the former Paediatrics Ward and the windows were secured by plywood in an attempt to reduce the amount of dust coming in.

The ground-breaking ceremony of turning the soil for the expansion and upgrade of the hospital took place May 31 with the Honourable Vance Amory, premier of Nevis; Robertine Chaderton, board member of the Sugar Industry diversification Fund; Aldris Pemberton-Dias, matron at the hospital; and Dr. Cardell “Bal” Rawlins, chief medical officer at Alexandra Hospital.

The EC$18 million upgrade to the Alexandra Hospital has been in part funded by a EC$4.5 million grant by the Sugar Industry Diversification Fund (SIDF), a EC$4.5 loan from the SIDF, other investors and the Nevis Island Administration. The project will be conducted in two phases, with the first scheduled to take a year.

According to the permanent secretary of health, Nicole Slack-Liburd, there will be the following upgrades: a state-of-the-art operating theatre, an expanded diagnostic capacity in the form of a new laboratory, radiology departments with Cat-Scan services and specific lab areas for tests useful in cancer diagnoses, a newly construed dialysis unit and additional private ward facilities as part of this project.

It was revealed that all involved in the rebuilding of the hospital facility have been named and are all said to be ‘”local.” Architects of the project are Spencer Brand, Clive Evelyn and Edrick Pemberton as the contracted building contractors; the electricians are Glen Byron and Davion Frasier; the plumbers are Noel Williams and Wilcent Grant; and the air conditioning contractors are Gaspree and the Finished Touched.

Amory previously said at the end of the project we will have a state-of-the-art facility, ‘”but a state-of-the-art facility in and of itself does not provide good health service. It comes down to the people who will be working to deliver the service. I want to encourage and support all of our nursing and medical staff, all of the lab staff and all of the other support staff for this institution; you have to be the key to the delivery of a quality health service.”