Finally! Nurse Iris O’Neal Medical Centre Opens On VG
Years after work commenced on the Nurse Iris O’Neal Medical Centre on Virgin Gorda, residents and officials gathered yesterday, February 20 at the facility for its official opening.
“Today marks another milestone in the transformation of district nine. Today was a day that many thought would never happen, this land where we sit on has been cleared off many, many times usually around election times,” Minister for Natural Resources and Labour and Ninth District Representative Hon. Vincent Wheatley said during his speech.
He added, “We have had many town meetings held about this very facility here, but then finally it started. Today we are here to witness the culmination of many persons; this wasn’t done by no one government or one person.”
In the meantime, Premier Andrew Fahie said it was a day to be proud of as a BV Islander.
“Today is a day when we all should be proud. Today is a day when we can say I am proud to be a Virgin Islander; I am proud to be a Virgin Gordian, I am proud now to know that I don’t have to rush on Tortola now on any boat when I take sick,” he said.
The Premier said he was pleased that the people of that island had finally received a modern facility.
“It’s another promise made, another promise kept, it’s another promise delivered, but we had help doing it,” he said.
Open to patients next week
According to the CEO of the BVI Health Services Authority, Dr Ronald Georges, the health care facility will commence operations “as early as next week.”
He said in the coming weeks; the services would expand.
“It’s been a long road, and it is still a long journey to go, but we expect to ensure that a physician is available initially until 10 pm, but we want staff available in this clinic 24 hours. We are making a commitment to ensure that you have pharmacy equipment here, laboratory services and imaging services and that includes X-rays and ultrasounds,” he added.
The facility’s honoree, the late Nurse Iris Georges O’Neal served for many years as the district nurse and midwife, delivering over 500 babies during her career.
While she was from Tortola, when she met and married her husband, Mr Allan O’Neal, she moved to Virgin Gorda.
The late nurse was a counsellor, baker, Sunday school teacher and seamstress.