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Three new ambulances commissioned

Grenada has received five new ambulances at an estimated cost of over EC $1 million to help improve the delivery of health care in the country.

Three of the five new ambulances were commissioned and handed over to the Ministry of Health at a ceremony held last Friday at the the Ministerial Complex in the Botanical Gardens, St. George’s.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of Health, Nickolas Steele said that the ambulances will be put into service right away and urged the users to take good care of them.

“The challenge … for us in the ministry (is) to make sure that we remain at, if not, above that optimum level and (to make sure) that these wonderful units do exactly what they’re supposed to actually be doing. It is not for us to be having a ceremony here today but for those units to serve the people and that is the intention of the donors to make sure, while they are most appreciative of being here today to do the handing over; they look forward, like we do to see them in constant service to the people…”, he told the small gathering.

“… Having said that … publicly that we are now at the optimum level with respect to ambulatory services in Grenada, the public-at-large will expect to see a difference, so too will the individuals who will be using these vehicles to serve the people – the drivers, nurses, orderlies, doctors – you have been given additional tools but also please ensure while we are using these tools ,that we use these tools in a manner that we would all be proud of, that they were meant to, to serve the public”, he said.

According to Chief Health Planner in the Ministry of Health, Camille St. Louis, the acquiring of the ambulances is in keeping with the National Health Sector 10 year strategic plan which was launched in 2015.

“The performances of the ambulances to be handed over today are a key milestone in ensuring upgradeability of a comprehensive emergency response system for the people of Grenada”, she said.

St. Louis recalled that beginning in 2016, the Ministry of Health implemented several activities to enhance emergency preparation and response systems including the development of a comprehensive Multi-Hazard Disaster Management Response Plan and the training of over 100 frontline personnel from the health sector, Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), NaDMA and NGO’s.

The ambulances were purchased from funds made available by Government, the Grenada Electricity Services (GRENLEC) and the Maria Holder Memorial Trust.

Member of the Board of Trustees of the Maria Holder Memorial Trust, Dr. Marion Pierre said that the organisation is pleased to be a part of such an initiative.

“As representative of the trust, I can safely say that they are very pleased to be partnering with such an initiative that can impact the lives of those who will benefit from using this ambulance being handed over this morning. I am sure that the government is very pleased to have received this kind donation from the Maria Holder Memorial Trust,” she said.

General Manager of GRENLEC, Colin Cover, said the island’s sole electricity is always ready to get on board to help improve the lives of citizens.

Cover said: “In the past five years we have donated more than $1.5 million towards health services in Grenada. We do this as a social responsibility, not for the applause but because of the cause of trying to improve the lot and the lives of the communities that we serve and the people in communities that we serve.

“I am sure that the drivers will drive with care to save lives and I am also sure that the Minister will ensure that there is proper and timely maintenance that will be done to these vehicles that they may serve the Grenadian public long and well,” he added.

The three ambulances; will be displaced at the St. George’s General Hospital, Princess Royal on the sister island of Carriacou and Princess Alice at Mirabeau, St. Andrew.

A commitment was given by the ministry to ensure that the ambulances are properly maintained and that the drivers have received a defensive driving course aimed at proper delivery of service.