For several weeks now the committee planning the Naming Ceremony for the New National Hospital has been working assiduously to plan a ceremony is fitting of the significant gift of the facility funded by the European Union.
The Ministry of Health, and the Government of St. Lucia regards this occasion as a very proud and significant moment when the New National Hospital will officially assume the name of one of St. Lucia’s most distinguished physicians, Dr. Owen King, and the contribution of the European Union in funding this state of the art facility.
The New National Hospital is the largest infrastructural project ever executed by the European Union in the Eastern Caribbean. This ultra modern treatment and care facility was funded to the tune of $167 million Eastern Caribbean dollars which includes both the construction and equipping of the hospital.
After the Naming Ceremony on Sunday February 21st, 2016, the New National Hospital will officially be known as the Owen King EU Hospital. Dwight Calixte, Commissioning Director for the New National Hospital noted the Ministry of Health’s excitement about this activity which also forms part of the communication strategy for the new hospital.
“It is a christening, as it may, for our new facility. We will basically be welcoming our partners into our facility for the first time, to allow them to see what has been done and what has been promised. On that particular day we do expect to have a number of speeches. It is expected to be a light day but also we expect to broadcast this event LIVE to our nation.”
Calixte explained that the naming ceremony on Sunday marks another step along the phases to be undertaken in realizing the eventual opening of the facility.
” Presently we are looking at the testing phase of the facility, working towards certification ensuring that the mechanical, electrical, water systems of the facility are up to code and meet the standards for operation. That is our initial phase. Once the installation of the equipment is done, we will also have to go through a commissioning of that as well. Simultaneously we will look at the training and upgrading of skill what we require to deliver the care and quality of service that we want to deliver at the facility. And then finally we will have the pinnacle for this facility which is the move of our actual departments and patients which will also happen in a phased approach.”
Minister for Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations, Hon. Alvina Reynolds expressed her own excited for this phase of the project noting the public’s anticipation for the eventual opening of the facility.
“We have been working very hard towards realizing this final few phases of transitioning and it’s heightened right now in the naming ceremony that is to happen on Sunday where officially this facility will be christened, you can call it that, and it’s no longer New National or Complex or whatever. We are giving it a name, named after one of our distinguished sons as we celebrate independence. We really want to say thank you to Dr. Owen King who has served St. Lucia well but more than that, say thank you to the EU and to create that excitement among the people of St. Lucia that we are moving to another level.”
The Minister indicated that from hence forth all correspondents will now bear the name of the Owen King EU Hospital as her ministry forges ahead to the eventual opening of the facility.
The naming ceremony, she said, will provide the public a glimpse at what is contained within the new hospital and what has been happening behind the scenes.
“We are opening doors now to show what it looks like so that when the time comes and our patients will be in there people will see the grand finale. So it’s building up that excitement to that grand finale…St. Lucians who are not invited to this ceremony can sit back at home and get a glimpse and follow what or partners on the ground will be experiencing. All of St. Lucia will have the opportunity to experience as well until such time that they can walk through the corridors of this grand institution. I what to thank the media fraternity for accepting to be part and parcel of this ceremony and to give St. Lucians that wonderful feeling during our 37th Anniversary of Independence. “
Prime Minister of St. Lucia, Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony has been quoted as saying “This is a monumental achievement for our country and its people. It sets a platform for better quality medical treatment for all St. Lucians and a better means of delivery of health care. We say thanks to our friends of the European Union for realizing this national dream.”