An aerial view of the new Roxborough Hospital.

Loyse Vincent

Residents of Roxborough and environs will soon have access to a state-of-the-art full-service hospital. The facility was commissioned yesterday and according to Secretary for Health Wellness and Family Development this $80 million dollar facility is the first of its kind in the country. However, residents in the area believe that “good fortune” only came to Tobago East after the residents voted against the PNM.

Secretary for Health Wellness and Family Development Tracy Davidson-Celestine said once operationalised the facility will offer a number of services.

“Twenty-four-hour Accident and Emergency Services, specialists clinics including obstetrics gynaecology general surgery, paediatrics and internal medicine, mental health, renal medicine, dermatology, rheumatology and cardiology.”

The Health Secretary went on to say the facility would also offer Hyperbaric, ICU, Dialysis Laboratory and X-Ray services.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley who was at the commissioning said the Roxborough Hospital is only one five other modern healthcare facilities built throughout the country as the administration took a policy to make education, national security and healthcare a priority. He said the country was fortunate to have “healthcare infrastructure” at the onset of the pandemic.

Dr Rowley said the country was able to create a “parallel healthcare system” which assisted in the management of COVID-19.

“We did have the physical infrastructure that allowed us to run this parallel system and Couva for those who got ill and needed hospitalization after having tested positive for COVID-19.”

He said the government was prepared to use other facilities if the need arose and the government assumed a lot of debt to fund the lockdown, which “prevented the collapse of the economy and civil unrest.”

The Prime Minister did, however, chastise a group of people who gathered in large numbers at No Man’s Land in Tobago last weekend, who he said was “willing to risk it all.”

“I am waiting to see the outcome of the folly of No Man’s Land in Tobago last weekend when there were people who believed that the laws and the regulations do not apply to them and COVID means nothing to them and they are prepared to risk all that we have invested all that we have done for a moment of fun and frolic.”

Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis said that people could no longer argue that Tobago East was underdeveloped.

“I want to suggest that the rate of development that we have seen in Tobago East over the last five years is beyond development in any part of the country.”

He said that a PNM in Trinidad and a PNM Administration in Tobago “has afforded the kind of development that has never been seen in the history of Tobago.”

Just a stone throw away from the facility a number of residents sat at the entrance of a small shop observing the ceremony. One of the residents, who gave his name as Mr Taylor, said he was not impressed.

“Nineteen years in power is only after we vote for Watson PNM know Tobago East need upliftment? They have a hospital in Signal Hill they cant maintain they build a next one to turn a white elephant!”

Within recent time Roxborough received a new Police Station, a new Fire Station, an Administrative Complex and the Charlotteville Mini Enterprise Facility was also recently completed. Chief Secretary Dennis said this would amount to over “a quarter billion dollars” invested in the development of the area.

The Belle Garden East/Roxborough/Delaford seat is currently held by Watson Duke, while Farley C. Augustine holds the Parlatuvier/L’ Anse Fourmi/Speyside, the Goodwood/Belle Garden seat currently held by the PNM’s Hayden Spencer was whisked away from the PDP’s Dr Faith B Yisrael by a slim margin of only three votes.