Historic Mercy Hospital Gutted by Fire
Georgetown, Guyana, May 10, 2010 – St. Joseph Mercy Hospital officials and nurses were reporting that all their patients were safe after an early morning fire completely destroyed the Old Wing of the Hospital. The Old Wing is the Historic Wooden Building that served as the façade and symbolic structure associated with the Hospital that has been in existence for over 60 years.
Speaking to Capitol News, the assistant Hospital Administrator Marjorie Park said that the officials are assessing what they have lost. She said the building that was destroyed did not house patients but contained all the records and other important pieces of equipment. After the fire started before six this morning, the hospital moved with the help of the Police most of its critical patients to other hospitals. Other less critical patients were taken initially to the Police Sports Club across the street from the Hospital.
Patients were then transferred to the Red Cross Building in the same area where frantic efforts were being made by the officials there to get cots and set up what essentially would be a field hospital for now.
The Ministers of Health were on the scene early as was the Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee. Junior Minister of Health Bheri Ramsarran was seen organizing the transfer of patients as Ambulances moved quickly to the scene. Minister of Health Dr. Leslie Ramsammy indicated that this is another serious situation:
There are no reports that any damage was done to nearby buildings including the United States Embassy that sits just west of the Mercy Hospital. The Hospital houses most of its patients in the New Wing and another Wing south of it. They are connected by ramps to the Building that was destroyed. It is unclear what damage those concrete New Wing buildings suffered.
Guyana lost its Ministry of Health to a fire and a section of the Georgetown Hospital was destroyed by fire a few years ago.
The fire at the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital is not only a tragedy for the Health Care system in Guyana Mercy Hospital was one of those distinctive architecturally rich buildings that dot the Georgetown landscape. Several of these buildings have been lost to similar fires. Mercy Hospital was known for years as Dr. Romiti’s Hospital or Colonna House before the Sisters of Mercy began providing health care services there.