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.
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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