Infectious Diseases Hospital marks one year in operation

The Infectious Diseases Hospital at Lilliendaal, Georgetown marked its first year of operation on Wednesday, September 1.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, MP, over the last year sought to ensure the facility met the required standards to operate as a specialty hospital to treat COVID-19 patients.

Speaking at a media conference, Minister Anthony said the occasion was significant, as it marked a period of hard work. He said his team faced many challenges in getting the facility to acceptable standards.   

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, MP, at a press conference in observance of the one-year anniversary since the establishment of the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal. Seated with Dr. Anthony is Dr. Tracey Bovell, Doctor In Charge at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) and Dr. Fawcett Jeffrey, Director of Medical and Professional Services, GPHC.

“Our initial foray into this facility, we discovered that what was said on the 31st of July, that this facility was ready to house 197 patients in the ICU, when we came in here that was a totally different picture. What we inherited was a very stark contrast to say the least.

“We realised that electricity was not on the building, there were no electricity, water was not connected, sewage was not fixed. And all these things we have to go build, put them in place,” Minister Anthony stated. 

The health minister recounted that after water was connected to the facility, all the pipes burst during the testing phase.

“Now that we connect water, the old pipes that we found that were here burst and so we had to go renovate that, put that together and it was a lot to be done.

“This place was literally a shell, nothing else, no equipment, no beds, no ventilator, nothing,” Minister Anthony added.

He noted, however, that despite the many challenges, the PPP/C Government in its efforts to provide proper healthcare and ensure citizens’ safety during the pandemic, sought to bring the facility into an operable state.

“It really took an effort. So, you can understand that on the 5th of August, this place was not ready, no electricity, no water, no plumbing, no nothing. And from the 5th to the 1st of September, that we were able to put the first patient in this facility speak volumes of the hard work, the tireless work of the staff of the GPHC, the nursing staff, Dr. Bovell and her team. It speaks volumes because they were the people who really made this facility work.”

During the COVID-19 Update, Minister Anthony said most of the areas in the hospital are in operation. Plans are in train to expand the hospital’s Intensive care Unit (ICU) and establish a pharmacy. In the meantime, laboratory samples are being tested at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

Minister Anthony said other areas of the hospital will be developed periodically. Dr. Anthony said he is especially proud that over 2,000 COVID-19 patients have been treated and have recovered at the facility during the current pandemic.