Minister for Health and Social Development Hon. Ronnie Skelton announced that the new Peebles Hospital is tentatively set to be opened in October, and that the outfitting of the new building is proceeding well. The Minister also announced that the new hospital is part of an ongoing health revolution in the Territory and is calling on all to support the initiative.
Speaking at a cheque handover ceremony on 22 August Minister Skelton said: “The country is on a healthcare revolution, it is not just the hospital it is all the initiatives that are being done here on Tortola, in Virgin Gorda, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke. There is a whole communicable disease strategy that is happening and all of this is being done so that less patients can come into this hospital.”
Hon. Skelton explained that much is being done to get the new building ready for opening and he divulged that only some equipment and furnishing are outstanding: “This hospital is a state of the art hospital, the beds are in. We are now waiting for imaging equipment and furnishing … I don’t want to put my foot in my mouth (but we are hoping) to have it officially opened in October of this year. There is still a bit of work to be done to install imaging equipment and getting things up and running,” he added.
The Minister pointed out that residents should do what they can to support Peebles Hospital as it will help to save many lives: “I think it is important that all of us be part of this health care revolution that is happening in the Virgin Islands. It is not an overnight fix, is a long term fix. All of us at some point will end up here (Peebles Hospital) if we stay around here long enough. Our (government) job is to have the personnel, the equipment, everything that is necessary to take care of you when you get here…None of us should feel as if there is some place else that we can go before they stop at Peebles. If you go to private doctors and there are complications you will stop at Peebles before you leave here, that’s how it works,” the Minister noted.