(Seychelles News Agency) – The newly constructed St. Mary’s Hospital on Seychelles’ La Digue Island is expected to be fully operational, with the transfer of all existing services offered by the old Logan Hospital, by September 1.
This will be two weeks after its inauguration, planned for August 15, to coincide with the island’s feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, 17 months after construction work started and two years after the foundation stone was laid.
Dr. Conrad Shamlaye, who is supporting the Minister of Health’s office and the La Digue team in the inauguration process, told SNA on Wednesday that officials, including the Minister for Health, Peggy Vidot, visited the new hospital. A meeting was held on Tuesday to discuss the move to the new health facility.
“Services will include consultations, emergency care, family health care, oral health care, a pharmacy, clinical laboratory, and public health. Consultation with specialists from Mahe will also transfer to St. Mary’s. Discussion is ongoing regarding the organisation and scheduling of specialist clinics to increase efficiency and access to care by the La Digue and Praslin population,” explained Shamlaye.
The doctor added that the developing electronic health information system would be an important asset in ensuring efficiency and quality of services.
While emergency and urgent care will remain accessible at all times, a new approach will be adopted at St. Mary’s Hospital, whereby all routine services will be on an appointment basis. This will help to ensure more efficiency and improve the management of services, reduce waiting times for patients, and increase patient and staff satisfaction.
“The operations of the new hospital, both for in-patient and community health, will require additional clinical and support staff. The process of recruitment and deployment is already underway,” explained Shamlaye.
|All existing services offered by the old Logan Hospital will be transferred to the new hospital by September 1. (Ministry of Health) Photo License: CC-BY|
Shamlaye added that part of the human resource development plan of the Ministry of Health is the promotion of health careers among children and youth. “It is hoped that the inauguration of St. Mary’s and the accompanying greater engagement with the community will see a surge in enrolment in health studies.”
St. Mary’s Hospital is located close to L’Union Estate, which has a helipad, so a fully equipped ambulance will be brought to facilitate emergency transfers to the main island of Mahe.
Over the coming months, more services will be offered, including expanded diagnostic services, such as laboratory, x-ray, and ultrasound services, which will support further extension of clinical services, including those provided by visiting specialists. Rehabilitative services, such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy, and health care for the elderly will be strengthened. In the future, dialysis and some surgery will also be provided at St. Mary’s Hospital.
During her visit to La Digue earlier this week, Minister Vidot also met with community leaders to engage the community as the inauguration of St. Mary’s represents not only a new facility but also an opportunity to engage the residents of La Digue and the health team in the promotion of health, disease prevention and healthy living.
Work to construct the new modern hospital on the third most populated island of Seychelles started in March last year, seven months after the foundation stone was laid. The construction of the new La Digue hospital was funded through a donation of $4 million from the UAE government and an additional SCR 2 million ($139,000) from the La Digue Hospital Fund.
The former Logan Hospital – named after William Marston Logan – the British governor of Seychelles from 1942 to 1947, was the only medical facility offering primary health care to around 5,000 inhabitants of La Digue. For specialised treatments, residents had to travel to Praslin, the second most populated island, or the main island of Mahe.