Remarks by Minister for Health and Social Development
Honourable Carvin Malone
At the Contract Signing for Construction Works on the Major Peebles Wing
oF the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital
The BVI Health Services Authority has responded commendably to the Global COVID-19 pandemic. The professionalism and talent of the organisation was tested by this pandemic and like true champions, this organisation has lived up to its expectation. With the onset of this pandemic, we needed to respond swiftly and as accurately as possible and needless to say, the response has been successful. This significant accomplishment is even more remarkable, when you consider that in the early stages of the pandemic; information was sketchy as the world was learning about the virus at the very same time.
To date the BVIHSA has been able to accomplish a number of milestones in response to this deadly virus. With the commitment and the investment of the British Virgin Islands Government, the Premier, and with all of the agencies under the control, both public and private; the BVI Health Services Authority has been able to establish and provide access to:
- A Fast-tracked and Expanded Telehealth initiative. This ensures the access to care while reducing the risk of COVID-19 exposure for both patients and healthcare providers.
- We established an electronic platform for COVID-19 response, including a COVID Hotline 852-7650.
- Allowed telecommunications technologies to be used in lieu of in-person services across many settings of care like home health, nursing and hospice.
- Erected a COVID Tent on the 3rd Floor and expanded this service to the Sea Cow’s Bay Community Centre to ensure maximum community outreach.
- Created a 16-bed COVID Isolation Unit in the main hospital.
- Also trained and certified staff as well as established certified COVID lab testing services. When expanded, as you will learn will be one of its kind in the region.
- Tested over 6679 individuals for COVID-19 to date right here at the laboratory.
In addition to these accomplishments, the British Virgin Islands Health Services Authority has initiated the following projects in keeping with our continued response and preparedness:
- Construction of the new Road Town Community Clinic
- Building an expanded isolation ward in the Major Peebles wing of the hospital.
- Expansion of the laboratory into the old emergency space of the Annex to be able to provide even more extensive laboratory services.
It is important to note, that even in the midst of all this, the organisation has been able to continue its normal operations with only minor interruptions to services and also achieved the internationally recognised DNV GL Accreditation status; it is a major accomplishment.
While doing this, we have had two major pieces of legislations passed to date. We have the Medical Act 2020 and the Nurses and Midwives Act which yesterday was gazetted so it now becomes law. So in our quest to be the most efficient healthcare service in the region, we would like to say congratulations to acting CEO Pat Malone Smith and of course CEO Dr. Ronald Georges.
We have the two contractors who are here today to make sure that when we get these things, they would be done on budget and on time: Caribbean Environmental Restoration Company for the renovation of the Peebles Hospital Laboratory Annex for a value of $682,387.99 and to Metro Construction Limited, $947,267.48 for the renovation of the second floor of the old Peebles Hospital for the Outpatient Clinic.
So when we get our Medical Act going, when we get the Nurses and Midwives Act going, there are some updating of legislations we will be working on so that at the end of the day, our over $400 million dollars in infrastructure, furnishings and equipment, together with the commitment that the Government has in terms of the $42 million dollars per annum that is contributed to the system, we will have a world class primary and secondary delivery of services here in the Virgin Islands and would be the proud recipients to our particular patients and our residents.
So I would like to congratulate you both for winning this very competitive bid. We have eight persons bidding on section two and eight on section three, and out of that, because of the kind works that these two gentlemen have had as far as preparing documents and responding to contracts, they have been able to win these additional contracts and may we say may it be on budget and on time. Thank you again.