Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Ronnie Skelton announced that the process to have an hospital on Virgin Gorda continues. Hon. Skelton who was speaking on the 15 September edition of NDP radio programme announced that the tenders for the construction of the facility will be decided on soon.

“We are evaluating now the Iris O’Neal clinic on Virgin Gorda that should be coming to Cabinet in a couple of weeks.” The Minister stated that government is cognizant of the need for medical facilities on the sister islands, specifically transportation to the Peebles hospital; and he noted that plans to fix that situation is also being considered. “I think one of the key things for the transportation for the sister islands, the transportation from the sister islands is to get air ambulance service from the sister islands as quickly as possible to the hospital in Road Town,” the Health Minster stated.

Minister Skelton stated that the proposed Virgin Gorda mini hospital will cause a decrease in the need for patients on that island to come to Peebles. He said that in the eventuality that patients must visit Peebles, the facility will be equipped to treat their various situations:  “The Iris O’Neal medical centre that we are going to be building is going to be taking care of quite a number of things, but in the event that it can’t be done there it must be able to come to the main hospital which should be quite equipped with a lot of modern equipment. We are looking for people to put in the hospital so we can do the majority of things here in the BVI,” Hon. Skelton said.

Friday June 20, was the final day for collection of tender applications for the construction of the New Nurse Iris O’Neal Medical Centre, which upon completion will provide much needed medical service to the Ninth District.

In an update on the project to the House of Assembly on June 13, the Minister announced that progress is being made on the construction of the Medical Centre. In fact, Hon. Skelton announced that he is aware that the people of Virgin Gorda have been asking for such a facility for quite some time.

The new Nurse Iris O’Neal Medical Centre will be a phased development project, which is estimated to take 18-24 months to be completed. It will gradually expand in its services over time as required by the growing Virgin Gorda community.

According to Hon. Skelton the wide array of services that this facility will provide will afford the people of Virgin Gorda and Anegada the opportunity to remain closer to home while accessing healthcare services that they need.