The signage to reflect the renaming of the Peebles Hospital to the Dr D. Orlando Smith Hospital is estimated to cost upwards of $100, 000, according to officials from the British Virgin Islands Health Services Authority (BVIHSA).
"Just Prior to the elections, the previous government took a bill to the House of Assembly and they went through that process, and they changed the name of the hospital from Peebles to Dr D Orlando Smith Hospital," CEO of the BVIHA Dr Ronald E. GEorges said in noting the move was also gazetted.
He was at the time speaking on the Tuesday, October 29, 2019, edition of Honestly with host Claude O. Skelton-Cline on Public Radio ZBVI 780am.
Name change official - Dr Georges
"We didn't necessarily get our official notification, I know the press had been calling... so eventually we did get official notification from the government, to go ahead and make the change," Dr Georges told the listening audience.
According to the BVIHSA, instances where the name of the old facility was retained, include 'The Major Peebles Wing'; however, officials reiterated that the name change is being used across documentation like letterheads.
When questioned when exactly the name change would reflect on the signage of the hospital, it was revealed that the old signage cost some $100, 000 to erect and a new signage is estimated to cost an even greater figure.
Dr Smith's Legacy
Most historians and residents of the Virgin Islands (VI) will remember Dr Smith's political leadership as one tainted with corruption allegations, financial mismanagement, no accountability, lack of transparency and the split of the National Democratic Party (NDP)-a party he co-founded-into two.
However, with regards to Dr Smith’s medical career, he is regarded as one of the absolute best in the region and has excelled in the arena so much it has outshone his work in the political sphere.
To this end, the NDP Government took the decision to cement Dr Smith’s name in history by renaming the Peebles Hospital in his honour.
The motion was taken to the House of Assembly (HoA) by the then Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) on Tuesday, January 15, 2019.