By Glenis A. Rose
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (JIS) -- Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller expressed appreciation to the Spain’s Hospiten Group, which on Friday announced final plans for the construction of a highly specialised general hospital in Jamaica at Cinnamon Hill, Rose Hall, St James at a cost of $200 million.
The Hospiten Group made the announcement during a ceremony at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
The medical facility is expected to provide services for residents of the North Coast area, as well as for visitors to the island.
Construction of the 16-room, 28 bed facility is expected to begin shortly, and is slated for completion during the second half of 2015.
It will provide full medical services, and will be equipped with an image diagnosis centre, a surgical block, an intensive care unit (ICU), a clinical analysis lab, a 24/7 emergency room, and 22 hospitalization rooms.
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller addresses participants in the special ceremony hosted by the Hospiten Group, to announce the construction of a US$200 million specialised general hospital for Western Jamaica
Delivering the main address, the prime minister said the government of Jamaica welcomes the investment of the initial US$20 million for the construction of the medical facility, which will be the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean.
“The decision by the Hospiten Group to commence construction of this highly specialised general hospital in the heart of Jamaica’s tourism industry comes at a time of improving economic stability, supported by positive ratings by the international rating agencies. This investment represents a tangible outcome of Jamaica’s tourism master plan and the work of successive governments,” Simpson Miller said.
“I want to commend the ambassador, the chairman of this group and his son, for having the business foresight to locate this catalytic project here in Montego Bay, Jamaica,” the prime minister said.
She added that the primary target market for the investment was the tourists in the resort areas encompassing Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril, but that Hospiten has decided to extend the same quality of medical services to Jamaican residents.
“Hospiten will establish 11 nursing stations in hotels along the North Coast as well as a clinic at the new Falmouth Pier and at the Ocho Rios Crew Ship Port. These are very sound investment decisions which demonstrate Spanish vision, ingenuity and enterprising breaking into this new and exciting frontier for Jamaica’s tourism industry,” she outlined.
Simpson Miller further expressed appreciation to the government of Spain, represented by Ambassador Celsa Nuno, for strongly supporting the project. She assured that “Jamaica remains a grateful nation and a willing investment partner”.
Meanwhile, head of the Spanish delegation Dr Pedro Luis Cobiella said that the project has been designed to create some 300 direct jobs during construction and more than 300 when it is completed.
“The Hospiten Group’s maxim has always been to achieve excellence in the services provided, both in medicine and in patient care, the result of which is that all our hospitals have obtained international recognition for quality and excellence in service and management,” Cabiella observed.