The Southern Regional Health Authority now has a histopathology lab, which was funded jointly by the Lions Club of Mandeville and the CHASE Fund.
The building was completed at a cost of $83 million, with the CHASE Fund donating $52.6 million of that amount.
Speaking at the official handover of the building, which is located on lands adjoining the Mandeville Regional Hospital, CEO of the CHASE Fund, Mr W. “Billy” Heaven, reminded healthcare professionals that in order to improve the health of the citizens, “we must have efficient health systems that provide effective disease management, control and prevention options for everyone”.
“To achieve this outcome, we must bear in mind good customer care and have a good maintenance programme in place,” he added, noting that good customer service means that a patient-centric perspective and approach must be adopted in the delivery of healthcare.
He stressed that every employee of the health sector is potentially a customer service representative who must see themselves in that light and have a customer service mindset when delivering healthcare.
“Sickness can be stressful. Patients want more than treatment; they want more information than telling them what they have. You have to move away from the clinical aspect of it and offer patients some compassion and empathy. This is important if we want to transform the health system in Jamaica, that we step up on our customer care,” Mr Heaven said.
When fully equipped and in operation, the lab, which took five years to complete, will advance the ability to offer quality care to the region. It houses a storage facility, clinical and processing areas as well as a suite of offices. It will also eliminate the need to send lab work to Cornwall Regional Hospital to be done.
It will be able to accommodate up to eight technologists working manually, but it is hoped that the facility will be equipped with technologically advanced equipment to automate many of the procedures.
Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, who brought greetings, virtually, thanked the Lions Club and CHASE Fund for mobilising the funds to construct the lab.
“We can look forward to an on-site optimally staffed and equipped, full-service lab, capable of providing critical pathology services while also meeting standards of accreditation and fulfilling the mandate of the Ministry of Health and Wellness to reduce cancer incidence,” he said.
Also present at the handover ceremony were Custos of Manchester, Hon. Garfield Green; Chairman of the Board of the SRHA, Wayne Chen; Regional Director of the SRHA, Michael Bent, and several members of the Lions Club of Mandeville.