STATEMENT BY HONOURABLE CARVIN MALONE
MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
DURING THE FIFTH SITTING OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE FOURTH
HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
ON THURSDAY 20TH FEBRUARY, 2020
Opening of the Nurse Iris O’Neal Medical Centre on Virgin Gorda
Mister Speaker, today my words may not be capable of communicating my immense pride and honour in announcing that the official opening and dedication ceremony for the Nurse Iris O'Neal Medical Centre that will take place at Five O’Clock this afternoon on the grounds of the facility in the Valley, Virgin Gorda.
This significant event has been long awaited and eagerly anticipated, not least by the residents of Virgin Gorda who, over many decades, have called for such a facility to be erected to meet their evolving healthcare needs. Every aspect of the building, from its striking design by A R Potter and Associates to the high quality of works performed by James Todman Construction Ltd. and various subcontractors, together with expert professional guidance drawn from both the public and private sectors, are all testaments of outstanding Virgin Islands’ talent and tenacity.
Mister Speaker, various new services will be delivered from the facility as additional equipment is installed and the full complement of healthcare professionals is recruited. These will include audiological services, chronic care, dental health, improved emergency and urgent care, family health, health promotion and education, pharmacy, laboratory, imaging, specialty clinics, and physiotherapy.
It also bears repeating that the new facility is expected to facilitate 24 hour service capability for urgent cases and emergencies and will provide emergency stabilisation and transfer of patients needing further care.
Mister Speaker, it is no exaggeration to say that a new day has come for the delivery of primary healthcare services for the people of Virgin Gorda and the wider Virgin Islands community. The Nurse Iris O’Neal Medical Centre brings us closer to the goal of Universal Health, and its design will serve as a model for future development of health clinics in the eastern and western districts of Tortola, albeit on a smaller scale. The full functioning of these facilities would bring to communities a wide range of essential healthcare services that would meet the demand for better targeted interventions for prevention, early detection, and management of acute and chronic care conditions.
Mister Speaker, I keep on record our indebtedness to the present and former administrations who have worked over the years to bring this spectacular facility to life. We are also very much obliged to the Project Team, supported initially by Smith and Associates and later by the Project Support Services Unit, who were undaunted by setbacks, and persisted down their determined path towards the successful completion of this project.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, permit me to once again offer our sincere thanks to the donors who see the value in what we do and have chosen to give to this most worthy cause. The opportunity is still presented for persons who wish to contribute towards procuring medical equipment, or completing the second floor of the building.
With those few words, Mr. Speaker, I invite everyone to join the celebration this afternoon as we cut the ribbon, and usher in a new era in healthcare for the people of Virgin Gorda.
Thank you, Mister Speaker.