Last updated: 5 December 2017, 10:47 am
A damage assessment is now underway at the Soufriere Hospital in St Lucia following a fire over the weekend – the second in less than a month.
Some parts of the facility have now been left unusable but fortunately there were no casualties.
Unlike the 9 November blaze, which did no major damage, the fire on Saturday night destroyed the maternity ward and other areas.
The fire broke out at around 7pm and investigations have begun to determine the cause.
Chief medical officer Dr Merlene Fredericks, who was among the health officials on the scene, said complete sections as well as some equipment were destroyed.
“We lost the mental health section, the maternity section, a fully stocked storeroom with medical supplies,” she said, who confirmed that the primary healthcare section was untouched.
“We also lost some new 10th European Development Funded equipment.”
Dr Fredericks reported that the Pan American Health Organization has been alerted about the fire, as replacement supplies and equipment may need to be procured.
Meantime, Minister for Health and Wellness Mary Isaac said her team is moving swiftly to relocate all services that were offered at the Soufriere Hospital.
“Our medical team is doing their best to ensure that services offered at the Soufriere Hospital continue uninterrupted at different facilities,” she said.
“Counselling services will be made available to anyone who may be traumatised as a result of these events.”
In the previous incident, the fire was quickly contained thanks to prompt action by staff and the fire service. The blaze was isolated to the records room of the hospital.