Scotiabank boosts local medical capacity for fight against COVID-19
L-R: Courtney Cephas, Executive Director of the Health for Life and Wellness Foundation in the Ministry of Health and Wellness looks on as Dr Kelvin Metalor (centre), Intensive Care Unit ( ICU) Director at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) demonstrates the various functions of one of several newly donated ventilators to David Noel (right), President and CEO of Scotiabank during a presentation ceremony hosted at the hospital.
Scotiabank has so far contributed to $15.5 million to help bolster the local healthcare system in light of the coronavirus (COVID-1) pandemic.
Following a $15 million cash donation in March towards the purchase of ventilators for the island’s public hospitals, the bank last Thursday donated $500,000 to facilitate the purchase of additional equipment for the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).
The donation of a Flow Nasal Oxygen machine was requested by the hospital particularly because it can be used in the early management of patients with respiratory symptoms and can possibly reduce the number of patients who may end up needing a ventilator.
Scotiabank is among several members of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) that has provided monetary support to the island’s healthcare facilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking during a brief handover ceremony at the Hospital, David Noel, President and CEO of Scotiabank expressed that the bank was again happy to be able to contribute.
“We all live here, we are a part of this community and we want to ensure that we play our role in equipping our nation’s health care workers, who already work miracles, to deliver the highest standard of care,” Noel said.
David Noel (left) Scotiabank President and CEO greets UWHI registered nurse, Tameka Whorms during the presentation ceremony for medical equipment at the University Hospital of the West Indies.
“Insufficient medical equipment continues to be a challenge and Scotiabank continues to play our part in helping to address some of the gaps. Through this donation, we are addressing a critical need to increase the availability of life-saving equipment in our nation’s hospitals even beyond the threat of COVID-19,” further explained Audrey Tugwell Henry, Executive Vice President for Retail Banking, who symbolically handed over the additional donation.
While this latest donation was prompted by the immediate threat of the novel coronavirus global pandemic, she further noted that the company has always had an interest in helping the country to address the shortage of critical medical equipment.
Dr Kelvin Metalor, ICU Director at the UHWI expressed gratitude on behalf of the hospital.
“The provision of adequate and high-quality healthcare requires a lot of resources. In a system that is already stressed, COVID 19 served to provide additional pressure. Scotiabank being the good corporate citizen that it has once again stepped in to provide assistance to patients at the UHWI continue to benefit from the support given by Scotiabank over a number of years,” Dr Metalor said.
He also noted the usefulness of the equipment donated in increasing the capacity of the ICU to deliver care to both critically ill adults and paediatric patients long after the threat of the COVID -19 pandemic.
Also in attendance were Dr Carl Bruce, Medical Chief of Staff, M. David Walker, Director of Interventional Suite, Dr Hyacinth Harding-Goldson, Programme Director, Clinical and Fellowship in Critical Care Medicine, Dr Marinna Scarlett, HOD Section Anaesthesia & Intensive Care and UWHI Hospital CEO, Kevin Allen.
Representing the Minister of Health, Courtney Cephas, Executive Director of the Health for Life and Wellness Foundation in the Ministry of Health and Wellness also thanked Scotiabank for its consistent support for healthcare in Jamaica.
“The fight against COVID-19 is not for any one person or organisation. We are all in this together and we continue to laud the significant contribution of private entities like Scotiabank who tirelessly support the efforts of the government in improving the local health care system. We express our thanks on behalf of the people of Jamaica and the families who will ultimately benefit,” Cephas said.
Globally, Scotiabank has donated over $US2.5 million towards various programmes and initiatives aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19.