The Board of Supervision (BOS) has been lauded for its efficiency and innovation in addressing the evolving needs of the vulnerable population.
“The welfare of our vulnerable citizens, from the outdoor poor to the residents in our Infirmaries, increased in importance during the height of the COVID pandemic. The work of the Board of Supervision in successfully managing the care of our brothers and sisters, cannot be overstated,” said Honourable Desmond McKenzie.
“In the last financial year, the BOS continued to ensure that infirmary care was delivered in the strictest sanitary environment to achieve optimum infection prevention and control. Eighty-five percent of all residents were vaccinated. Visits remained suspended, as were admissions of new residents. The effectiveness of the BOS’ work paved the way for the temporary resumption of visits to the Infirmaries in January this year.”
The BOS is a statutory body within the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development that is charged with the welfare of indoor and outdoor clients within the Poor Relief System and the wider society. Indoor client are those residents who live in the island’s Infirmaries.
Care for the Outdoor Poor/Infirmaries
The Portfolio Minister also noted that he is most happy about the work to make the Infirmaries places of dignity, where residents experience modern standards of care and enhanced quality of life.
“Since January 2021, four physiotherapists and three dieticians have been added to the service structure of the Board of Supervision. Safety has been increased through specialist training in the movement of physically-challenged residents. Nutritional integrity has been improved through a revised diet plan approved by the BOS.”
Through a partnership with the Ministry of Health and Wellness, hospitals are being relieved of its social cases. Social cases account for approximately 300 hospital bed spaces, and the BOS has already relocated 45 persons into more appropriate care facilities such as the Golden Age Home.
There are also continuous collaborations with entities such as Food for the Poor and the National Health Fund, which provided wheelchairs, personal protective equipment, and other essential items for improved service delivery in the Infirmaries.
- Three Therapeutic Parks were completed at the Manchester, St. Mary and Trelawny Infirmaries.
- Two new kitchens were built at the Hanover and Manchester Infirmaries.
- The new J$58.2 million Female Ward at the Manchester Infirmary was completed and is now occupied.
- The Matron’s Quarters at the Westmoreland Infirmary were completed at a cost of J$7.6m.
- Works at the Portland and St. James Infirmaries were completed at a cost of J$45m and J$32.5m respectively.
- The new Male Ward at the Westmoreland Infirmary, which is being built at a cost of $41 million, is almost completed.
- The new Administrative Building at the St. Elizabeth Infirmary, construction of which cost J$21 million, was completed and is now occupied.