Chief Executive Officer of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), Dr. Dexter James, and his team

Chief Executive Officer of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), Dr. Dexter James (seated) and his management team. (FP)

have come in for high praise from Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, for changing the public’s perception of that institution.

Mr. Inniss told those attending the launch of the hospital’s Volunteer Programme recently, that the QEH had moved from being "a publicly ridiculed Government department to the image of an entity that is more efficient and caring" under Dr. James’ leadership.

However, he warned that now was not the time to be complacent. The Health Minister said the aim was for the hospital to achieve "five-star status" and Government would continue to invest in the plant and equipment there.

"Those who work here or volunteer their time here and those who use the facilities, I urge you to treat our plant and facilities with love, care and compassion," Mr. Inniss underlined.

He told the 30 volunteers who graduated during the launch that they were social capital – the greatest capital in society, "because a strong social capital creates a strong society".

"When people are eager to volunteer, it stems from the need to help. I am, therefore, heartened by the fact that you have recognised the need to help and are making a commitment to do so.

"You volunteers will serve as the link between the public and the facility. You too, will sometimes feel the pressures of irate patients. I urge you to remain calm and focus as you discharge your duties," Mr. Inniss advised.

He said the launch of the Volunteer Programme was a celebration of community partnership and community service to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.?? He added that it was through such public and private sector partnerships "that we can forge a supportive environment to enable all around excellence to the delivery of health care services at the QEH".

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