Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, applying the first few brush strokes to the exterior of the Gordon Cummins District Hospital. Assisting him is president of the Craft Union of Barbados, Undine Rouse. (A.Miller/BGIS)??

Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, joined members of the Craft Union of Barbados, a charitable group, in sprucing up the exterior of the Gordon Cummins District Hospital, Rock Hall, St. Thomas, today.

Mr. Inniss assisted in applying a fresh coat of paint to the building which is receiving a makeover by members of the group. The Health Minister lauded president Undine Rouse for the initiative and her vision.

"I’ve always said that the Ministry of Health can’t do it alone when it comes to taking care of members of our society and, generally, in terms of the physical plant that we operate under. This Gordon Cummins Hospital is 32 years old now and as you can see, we have been trying our best in the Ministry to maintain the building. We recently did some major renovations here resulting in some of the patients having to be accommodated at the St. Philip District Hospital. They recently moved back here to St. Thomas, after the renovations were completed on the inside.

"What Ms. Rouse and her team are doing is helping to spruce up the outside a bit, in terms of painting. It is commendable because you are getting individuals from the wider society to come together and lend some elbow grease. It is certainly a gesture that is very much appreciated by the Ministry of Health," Mr. Inniss acknowledged.

Ms. Rouse, who also presented management at the hospital with stethoscopes and blood pressure monitors, said she visited the facility earlier this year and realised that it "needed help".

"I like helping the elderly and children… It is all about giving back to the community. I was doing charity work from the time I know myself. I decided I must do everything in my power to make sure that this institution is kept up to standard. It is not a one-off [thing] because my aim and mission is to ensure that these surroundings are well kept. We had some members who came [last] Sunday and we did some pressure washing," she explained.

She added that most of the paint and equipment were donated by corporate Barbados.

The hospital currently accommodates 41 patients – 31 females and 10 males. Mr. Inniss pointed out that like all other public health care facilities, Gordon Cummins District Hospital was under immense pressure.

"On any given day, there are at least 150 individuals awaiting admission [at public health care facilities]. When you add to that the numbers from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital awaiting accommodation… you recognise the major challenge we have in providing accommodation for the elderly," Mr. Inniss emphasised.


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