Rotary Club of Portsmouth has donated EC $180, 000 towards the refurbishments of the Reginald Fitzroy Armour (RFA) Hospital Accident and Emergency Department.

The renovations, scheduled for the next eight weeks, will improve access, efficiency and equipment at the RFA emergency room which will in turn improve patient and health care infrastructure in the community.

Addressing the ceremony on May 14, 2015 Parliamentary Representative for Portsmouth Ian Douglas stated the Government of Dominica has seen health care as a top priority along with education. He added that the government is elated when persons in the private sector partner with the government towards bringing the people of Dominica the best available health care.

Douglas said it was very significant that the Rotary Club of Portsmouth and members of the private sector had chosen to invest in the health sector.

"You could have made your contribution to any other field to sports to culture to education but you saw the need and I happy for the work that the Rotary Club continues to do in Dominica," said Douglas.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health and the Environment Dr. Kenneth Darroux said government is always looking for ways to improve the health services and the refurbishment of the Accident and Emergency Department is just the start of things to come.

"We are also embarked on a number of initiatives such as the renovation of health facilities not just the type three health centres around the island but also the more district rural health centres all in an effort to ensure that proper care is brought to each and every nook and cranny in Dominica," said Dr. Darroux.

He noted with the hope of breaking ground of the new hospital in the next two months, Dr Darroux stated that it will be up to the district hospitals and district health centres to pick up the slack.

"You would know that the decision was taken to construct the PMH on the old site so this means that we have to try to do this with minimal interruption to the health services," said Darroux.

According to Rotary Portsmouth, the project was conceived as the result of a talk Dr. Candia Jacob, of the Portsmouth Hospital gave to the Rotary Club of Portsmouth, identifying the need.

The facility was designed and necessary equipment specified by Dr. Michael Light, who until recently was a member of Ross University faculty. With the blessing and continuing support of the Minister of Health and through the efforts of the Rotary Club of Portsmouth and its Projects Chairman, Gregor Nassief, and the dean of Ross University, fundraising commenced.

Through their joint sponsored Sweet Jazz event and other initiatives, including the procurement of grants from Rotary District and Rotary International, plus assistance from several Rotary clubs in the US, the necessary funds were raised. In addition, a visiting Rotarian from Houston, Bill Rutherford assisted with the procurement of some donated equipment.

"This has been a real community wide effort," said Morrison Azille, president of the Portsmouth Club. "We are pleased that our fundraising event Sweet Jazz had so many major sponsors. In addition to Ross University, and the Armour Family and Armour West Indies, E.H. Charles, DOMLEC, Kootney Resorts, Scotia Bank, Pic n'Go, LIME, Avies Villas, Jays, Tomato, Fort Young, Cobra Tours, Bullseye Pharmacy, Astaphan & Co. and the National Bank of Dominica lent their financial support.