Mandeville Regional Hospital – A Journey To Improved Eye Care

Minister of Health Horace Dalley (left) sharing in the ribbon-cutting at the opening of the upgraded eye care facility with chief executive officer of the Caribbean Council for the Blind Arvel Grant (third right). Also pictured are senior medical officer at the Mandeville Regional Hospital, Dr Everton McIntosh (left), programme monitoring advisor at Sightsavers) Phillip Hand, and medical officer of health within the Southern Regional Health Authority Dr Beverley Wright (partially hidden).Mandeville, Manchester — The Mandeville Regional Hospital now boasts upgraded eye care services.

For stakeholders, the journey to the recent official opening of an ophthalmology clinic and an operating theatre could not have been successfully done without the support of willing partners.

“(The) project was so extensive that we had to undertake it in a relay format. One person had to pass the baton onto others. I am happy that it is successfully anchored,” said regional director for the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA), Michael Bent.

Sightsavers International, the European Union and the Caribbean Council for the Blind are among the bodies that partnered with the SRHA to bring the project to fruition, said organisers.

According to an overview of the project, in 1998 the eye care department was confined to a small room in the general outpatient waiting area and just under 2000 patients seen each year. Today, more than 15,000 are reportedly seen annually.

The Southern Regional Health Authority says that the opthalmology clinic and the operating theatre at the Mandeville Regional Hospital came at a cost at $88.85 million.

Phillip Hand, programme monitoring advisor at Sightsavers International, said that having witnessed the growth at the eye department at the Mandeville Regional Hospital the saying “where there is a will, there is a way”, is embodied.

Minister of Health Horace Dalley lauded the Southern Regional Health Authority for striving towards “efficiency” despite the challenges in the sector.

The ophthalmology clinic and operating theatre building on the grounds of the Mandeville Regional Hospital“The provision of quality, equitable, accessible and affordable eye health services should be an essential component of any health system,” said Hand.

Source: Jamaica Observer

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