NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS — Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Senior Minister of Health, says the recent purchase of two new ambulances for the Alexandra Hospital is demonstrative of the government’s commitment to health care on the island.
The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) partnered with the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board for the purchase of two new 2020 Chevrolet Express Type 2 ambulances, at a cost of US $176, 695. The emergency services vehicles were officially commissioned on August 28, 2020.
Mr. Brantley said the expenditure was a worthwhile investment, which would benefit the people of Nevis for many years.
“I’m hopeful that those who drive, manage and maintain these pieces of equipment do so properly, that we can perhaps get 15 or 20 years service. If you amortize that over that type of period, you realize the monies that we’ve spent, just about US $176,000, that it’s a good investment.
“It is also demonstrative of the commitment of the government to health care on the island of Nevis,” he said at the ceremony to commission the ambulances.
Meantime, Premier Brantley encouraged Nevisians to pay attention to their health. He praised the management and staff at the Alexandra Hospital, the island’s main health care facility for the level of service provided to the population.
“All of us take our health for granted until we have a problem and then we rush to the hospital, rush to the doctor and then the complaints come. I’ve always marvelled that our Alexandra Hospital, our main healthcare facility on the island, has served all of us over the years.
“I’m asking our people to take our health care seriously. This type of investment by the NIA partnering with Social Security is tangible evidence of how seriously we are viewing health care,” he said.
The premier publicly commended Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister of Health for her continued efforts in improving the delivery of health care on Nevis.
“The donation would not have been possible without her. It demonstrates the emphasis she has placed on health.
“Sometimes we see things happening but we sometimes don’t recognize the amount of work that goes in behind the scenes. We are constantly trying to juggle to see how we can get it achieved,” he said.
In the NIA’s 2020 budget the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs was allocated $37.3 million, 15.6 percent of the entire annual budget.
The NIA recently acquired six ventilators, two defibrillators, and an infrared camera thermometer system for the Alexandra Hospital.
Remedial work was carried out at the facility, while extensive work was done to a building off the compound of Alexandra. The building, which will be used as a COVID-19 isolation site, was outfitted with beds and other equipment.
A $19 million expansion project at the Alexandra Hospital is ongoing.