The University Hospital of the West Indies

10 Sep, 2013

The University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) – the country’s leading medical training institution – caters to students from Jamaica and the English-speaking Caribbean, and also delivers a range of services to patients. The CHASE Fund has provided a total J$192 million in grants to the UHWI in support of its quest to maintain the high standards required under the terms of its accreditation, and to keep pace with modern practice.

“Our investments at the University Hospital fill a very critical need in its development as a premier training institution; and they demonstrate the commitment of the CHASE Fund to the delivery of high quality health care across Jamaica.”  – W. Billy Heaven, Chief Executive Officer, CHASE Fund 

Between 2003 and 2005, two new operating theatres and an eight-bed Intensive Care Unit were constructed and equipped, in response to the increasing demand for specialized neurosurgery and cardiac surgery at the Hospital. Partially funded with a J$10.3 million grant from CHASE, the new facilities allowed the Hospital to clear a backlog of patients awaiting surgery and record an 11% increase in surgical procedures within four months.

The state-of-the-art CHASE Carnegie Surgical Skills Laboratory, which was opened in July 2011 in memory of Dr. Alfred Carnegie, an outstanding Jamaican surgeon, is providing basic and advanced training – in all disciplines of surgery – through the use of simulators, telescopes, patient models, cadavers and anaesthetized small animals. The Laboratory, which also offers distance teaching and video conferencing, was established with a contribution of approximately J$25 million from CHASE.

“Over the years, our student intake has increased dramatically, and this new facility has significantly expanded their opportunities for practical exposure to a range of clinical skills.”  – Professor Ivor Crandon, Head, Dept. of Surgery, Radiology, Anaesthesia & Intensive Care/Accident and Emergency Medicine

CHASE funding has also facilitated the acquisition of advanced equipment which has enhanced the delivery of critical medical services at the UHWI. These include: A C-Arm Radiology Machine which is used to treat a range of spinal conditions, as well as, patients with cardiac pacemakers, orthopaedic conditions and urological disease; and an Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripter which treats stones within the urinary tract, using focused shockwaves to shatter them, so that patients may pass them without the need for costly surgical intervention. This equipment has helped to increase efficiency in the number of patients that are treated and has also facilitated referrals from Urology Departments at other hospitals. Both machines were valued at a total J$31 million.