The University Hospital of the West Indies officially received keys to the Field Hospital, at a Handing Over Ceremony on September 30, 2021. This marked the successful, on-time completion of the building by a partnership with the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) and other private sector companies, spearheaded by Gary Allen, CEO RJRGLEANER Communications Group.

The coming days will see the furnishing and final touches on the building, enabling the University Hospital to begin moving patients inside the facility. The Field Hospital, which is in proximity to the Emergency Medicine Division will accommodate 48 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients and with the remaining four units’ arrival, will house another 10 patients.

Gary Allen, Chief Executive Officer of the RJRGLEANER Communications Group, speaking at the ceremony highlighted that from breaking ground, a team was convened to steer the way forward.

“We established a public/private sector project team of 15, which has met almost every night since then to plan, meet the challenges and find the solutions to allow us to expedite the completion of twice the size of what we originally targeted, in less than a month.”

He further alluded to the motivation and commitment of the team.

“We were all motivated and committed to help our fellow citizen, every day that we came on site and looked at the Covid-19 patients in the undercroft area, on chairs, with cylinders of oxygen, and sometimes on drip and we knew that as the sun rose, it got hot and as the night fell, it got cold and that when it rained heavily, some blew in - every day we saw that, we knew the urgency we had could not be reduced.”

The Minister of Health and Wellness, Hon. Dr Christopher Tufton, also in attendance, expressed gratitude to the members of the private sector.

“On behalf of the government and people of Jamaica, we wish to thank the members of the private sector that have put their financial and other expertise behind this facility in 20 days. The field hospital is being donated today at a cost of JA$ 50,000,000, could not have come at a more opportune time, Jamaica continues to navigate a surge in COVID-19 cases.”

The minister further noted that Jamaica’s success in the COVID-19 response is partly due to the partnerships that the Ministry of Health and Wellness has fostered over the years.

While bringing the vote of thanks, CEO at the Hospital, Kevin Allen shared that the management and staff are grateful to the private sector’s partnership.

“We are very appreciative of the gift that has been given to us. It will serve the people of Jamaica well. It will serve our clinical team, our nurses, and our doctors. It will provide a safe environment in which they will practise their craft.”

The University Hospital and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, thank all our sponsors, donors, and partners on the Field Hospital Project.