After more than 20 years, residents of St. Andrew and surrounding parishes can now access x-ray and ultra sound services at the Princess Alice Hospital (PAH) at Mirabeau, St. Andrew.
This was disclosed by Radiologist Dr. Linwald Fleary who was addressing a ceremony last week Friday to officially commission the long awaited medical services in the big parish.
According to Dr. Fleary, the ultra sound service is mainly for the use of the hospital and was confident that “the provision of x-ay and ultra sound services at Princess Alice Hospital will strengthen the delivery of health care for the people of St. Andrew’ and surrounding parishes”.
He also said that it will reduce the high levels of stress associated with patients having to travel to St. George’s for those services.
The dream became a reality through collaboration between the Reynold & Nadia Benjamin Medical Foundation Inc., the Grenada Electricity Services Ltd. (Grenlec), St. George’s University (SGU), Grenada Health Assistant Fund and the Government of Grenada.
The idea started about 20 years ago with government making a budgetary commitment in 2004 towards the rebuilding of the old X-ray building at Princess Alice.
However, the project was severely affected due to the passage of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004.
Out of a strong desire to see the resumption of X-Ray services at the lone hospital in the north of the island, former political figure and small businesswoman, Nadia Benjamin, through the establishment of the Reynold Benjamin Medical Foundation Inc., after her husband’s death in 2010, took the bold initiative to get the project off the ground again.
The project included a new building to house the X-ray unit, and two new ultra sound units compliments the Grenada Health Assistant Fund.
Expressing heartfelt gratitude to all who contributed to the worthy cause, Benjamin said: “Today is a historic day for me, my family and members of the Reynold Benjamin Medical Foundation Inc…It took six years to get where we going but today I am very thankful”.
“…I feel blessed in knowing that at least together we have provided a means of early detection and hopefully early treatment thereby avoiding untimely death”, she said.
“Unfortunately, my husband was not this lucky. He died I would say too soon not having the opportunity afforded with this x-ray unit,” she remarked.
Health Minister Nicholas Steele commended Benjamin for her “personal perseverance,” which he said “continues to adopt a policy that I believe in the Ministry of Health, we all should maintain and that is being people-centered (because) it is about the users of the system, the actual patients and how best to improve their experience and the service offered.”
Grenlec contributed EC$600, 000 of the estimated EC$820, 000 needed to bring the project into fruition.
In addressing the ceremony, Grenlec’s Chief Engineer, Clive Hosten pointed out that the X-ray machine comes equipped with the pack system which is used to transmit the information via the Internet to any doctor in the world and carries a five year warranty.”
He said that Grenlec’s contribution also includes, training, maintenance, and led lighting for the new building.
The ceremony was attended by the four elected Members of Parliament for St Andrew – Roland Bhola (St. Andrew North-east), Emmalin Pierre (St. Andrew South-east), Delma Thomas (St. Andrew North-west) and Yolande Bain-Horsford (St. Andrew South-west as well as former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.
MP Thomas expressed gratitude and happiness to be part of the momentous occasion for the parish especially as the hospital is located within her constituency.
Roman Catholic priest, Fr. Leroy Hopkin was on hand to bless the building where the X-ray unit is housed.
The Princess Alice Hospital was named after Princess Alice, who traveled from Britain to Grenada for the official opening ceremony back in 1950.