BVI News

At long last! Nurse Iris O’Neal Medical Centre opens on VG, to commence operations next week

The Nurse Iris O’Neal Medical Centre on Virgin Gorda has finally opened, and plans are in motion to commence operations in the coming days.

CEO of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) Dr Ronald Georges said during the official opening ceremony on Thursday that he has “challenged the staff to ensure that as early as next week [they] begin seeing patients in this facility”.

“While we celebrate the opening of this new facility here today, in the coming weeks, we will transition services and scale them up over time. It’s been a long road, and it is still a long journey to go [but] we expect to ensure that a physician is available initially until 10 pm, but we want staff available in this clinic 24 hours,” he said.

Dr Georges further said the people of Virgin Gorda could expect access to diagnostic capabilities and 24-hour access to emergency care at the facility.

“We are making a commitment to ensure that you have pharmacy equipment here, laboratory services and imaging services and that includes Xrays and ultrasounds,” he added.

The CEO of the BVIHSA further said that, as time progresses, the availability of services will be expanded to include general surgery and a 24-hour physician at the facility.

Proud day

Meanwhile, Premier Andrew Fahie who also delivered remarks, said it was a day to be proud.

“I am proud now that now we reach a point now that no matter the political affiliations, they came together in oneness in purpose to give the people of Virgin Gorda what they deserve. It’s another promise made, another promise kept, it’s another promise delivered, but we had help doing it,” Premier Fahie said. 

He continued: “Today is a day when we all should be proud. Today is a day when we can say I am proud to be a Virgin Islander; I am proud to be a Virgin Gordian, I am proud now to know that I don’t have to rush on Tortola now on any boat when I take sick.”

The late former Premier and Ninth District Representative RT O’Neal got the ball rolling by purchasing the land for the medical facility.

Ninth District Representative Vincent Wheatley said he was pleased that another milestone had been met.

“Today was a day that many thought would never happen, this land where we sit on has been cleared off many, many times usually around election times,” he noted.

“We have had many town meetings held about this very facility here, but then finally it started. Today we are here to witness the culmination of many persons; this wasn’t done by no one government or one person,” Wheatley added.

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  1. Eisenhower says:

    The Government is cooking on gas. Prosperity!!!!! Yessss!!! Virgin Gorda!!!! Happy I don’t have to run tola anymore!!!!

    Like 9
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  2. wow says:

    glad to see ronnie and doc attended

    Like 35
  3. Truth says:

    What was so hard in thanking NDP government as well. Yes Under the VIP government purchase the land however the construction of building was done under NDP.

    They were the one that execute the plan.

    Ronnie got it done under the NDP not PVIM.

    Like 29
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  4. @Truth says:

    You all need to stop. The Premier thanked the NDP and many others. You all always looking for confusión and trying to divide.

    Like 12
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  5. What a place says:

    Yes the NDP must be given some credit but so should the VIP because if the VIP did not finish the project you all would be on here killing the VIP. You can’t please some of you in BVI

    Like 8
    Dislike 15
    • @What says:

      What did VIP have to finish really? The plan was there, contractor working, funding available. All they did was wait for it to be finished and opened it. Stop the nonsense and give credit where it’s due. The fact is once this govt continues on this track some of you will be praying for the ndp to come back.

      Like 21
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  6. SMH says:

    No matter what…It is DONE! Move Forward People.

    Like 10
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  7. oK says:

    Great that it’s opened but are there proper plans in place for operation/staffing to ensure it fulfills the mandate which it was built for? That is left to be seen!

  8. Eagle eye says:

    That’s a ndp project,still waiting to see vip do something major since in power. Next

    Like 16
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  9. Diaspora says:

    Though long over due, the opening of Iris O’neal Medical Centre is a Red Letter Day for VG and its residents. It is a much needed and well-deserved standard of living, as well as a quality of life, improvement for residents. In medical emergencies, minutes matter. As such, ready access to primary (minor) and intermediate medical care without having to make that long trip by boat to Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital in Road Town, Tortola, VI, matters and can save lives. Medical Centre completed, it is imperative that it is adequately staffed and properly equipped. With a $414M Operations and Maintenance budget, this should not be a problem. But the BVIHSA is a statutory body and is self supporting so given the long lead time equipment it should have ordered, installed and commissioned before the opening, should it not? Was not equipping/outfitting the Medical Centre not in the project budget?

    In his address during the opening ceremony, James Todman, James Todman Construction, noted that the project came in on budget. Thumbs up to him for bringing this project to completion on budget; this is an exception, not the norm. Typically, most government construction projects are not completed either on or under budget; they are most often over the project budget. Poor estimating by government construction project(s) personnel, inadequate and over inflated bidding by contractors and inadequate project management, including inspection, are all factors in project cost overruns. Taxpayers need fair and reasonable pricing; they are not getting value for money.

    Government needs to hold contractors responsible and accountable for their bids; project advertised, bidded and contract awarded, the only change orders should be for a)modifications (changes) by government, b) latent defects, and c) unforeseen conditions. Every contract should have a protected(sealed until bids are revealed at end of submission period) government estimate (GE) to compare contractor(s) bid to GE.

    A bid way below the GE or way over the GE should raise the concerns about the bid and the ability of contractor to complete project without the probability of default or cutting corners or that the taxpayers are not getting a fair and reasonable deal. What is in the pipeline for Anegada? Kin folks need some relief too.

    Like 9
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  10. Stupid says:

    Instead of people around here focus on the task at hand, they try to credit their affiliations.

    It’s not about who got the job done, it’s about the job being done. I guess people forget it is their tax paying monies being used, regardless of which party (political) is in.

  11. call a spade a spade says:

    I am happy for the people of VG that this has finally become a reality. As access to proper healthcare should be readily available for all.

    However, i would like to know how does one building take over 5 years to construct if we had such “good” professionals involved in the project?

    asking for a friend

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