St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital in Jamaica has unveiled a new female medical ward worth over JMD136m ($1.1m).

The 47-room ward has been opened as part of the Jamaican Government’s efforts to strengthen the country’s secondary care infrastructure.

With the opening of the new ward, the hospital’s bed capacity has now increased by 20%.

Funded by the National Health Fund, the ward will enable the hospital to improve accommodations for patients, and reduce crowding at the accident and emergency department.

Jamaican Health Minister Dr. Fenton Ferguson noted that the hospital provides a range of services to some 365,000 people in the North-East region.

"With the opening of the new ward, the hospital’s bed capacity has now increased by 20%."

"This is the regional referral hospital for St. Ann, St. Mary, and Portland and in some cases from sections of St. Catherine and Trelawny," Ferguson added.

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According to the Minister, the government has invested up to JMD1.5bn ($13.1m) since 2012 in the country’s secondary health care infrastructure.

Of the total investment, around JMD600m ($5.2m) has been invested in the North-East region, with nearly JMD352m ($3m) being invested in St. Ann’s Bay Hospital to repaint buildings, improve storage facilities, construct security fencing and purchase equipment, among other improvements.