She said that the hospital was rebuilt in 2003 with a phase three of the project left unfinished, which constitutes back office operations including kitchen, mortuary, and medical stores. She also noted that the back section constitutes the bulk of the old hospital and added that at present they are unable to demolish that section of the hospital because the utility lines, electricity and water are still connected to the old structure.
Minister Phipps said that the Department of Public Works has been doing work on separating the lines before a partial demolition can be done this year.
The minister responded to another question with respect to customer service at the hospital and said, “it is not a matter that is confined to JNF Hospital, it is across the civil service and the length and breadth of the Federation.”
“It is for us to get the message across to our people that if we are going to transition away from the type of economy that is heavily vested in agriculture and agrarian systems… we have to change the way we approach doing business, handling people, and putting the right people in the right jobs,” she said.
She said that the improvement in customer service is part of an ongoing process and explained that the government has been engaged in a project with the European Union (EU) using three ministries as part of a pilot programme that will address some of the human resource challenges that are currently being faced.
“If you are offering a service, you have to do it in a professional manner and do it with empathy to treat people in the manner in which you would wish to be treated. Until we get people who provide service to others to understand that, the situation is not going to get any better,” Minister Phipps said.