(SKNIS): Christmas cheer filled the air at the Joseph N. France (JNF) General Hospital on Thursday (December 22) as senior government officials and hospital staff went from ward to ward singing carols and greeting patients and visitors.
Governor General His Excellency, Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton, Prime Minister, Dr. Honourable Timothy Harris, and Minister of State responsible for Health, Honourable Wendy Phipps, were among government officials who joined with hospital administrators, nurses and trainees to greet patients, visitors and workers at JNF.
“We start in the foyer and we make our way around the entire hospital to see all patients as well as staff on duty and it’s an activity that I think we all look forward to each year, especially the nurses, they love wearing the red capes and singing the Christmas carols. It’s a fun time for all of us,” JNF Matron, Sandra Daly-Finley stated.
Most of the patients seemed equally happy to see the carolers as they stopped by each ward and department. The patients also received a gift. Ms Rogers was grateful for the gift that was presented to each patient by the Governor General, the Prime Minister or Minister Phipps. Wallen Liburd, who was visiting his sick uncle, said it was a good idea to have the function to lift spirits.
“To some extent it can help with the patient recovery but you would find that there are the odd patients who tend to get very emotional … because of course they would rather be at home rather than being at the hospital at this time of year but a lot of patients look forward to it,” Matron Daly Finley said. “And of course, the staff, we do have a wonderful time singing and having a merry time together.”
Minister Phipps said the caroling and gift giving tour of the hospital was rewarding. She said that Christmas-related activities have taken place at other health institutions. The first was held at the Cardin Home last Saturday (December 17) and the celebrations concluded on Friday (December 23) at the Pogson Hospital. Minister Phipps said the leadership in government was keen to participate where possible, as it is in keeping with its general philosophy.
“I think it is important for persons to understand that the federal government cares about people, that healthcare is a priority for us, and of course just coming out of the [Parliament] session where we would have debated and then successfully passed the Appropriation Bill for 2017, it is a way to demonstrate that spirit of oneness and togetherness with the people of St. Kitts and Nevis,” she stated.