The Spanish Town General Hospital in St. Catherine is operating with a shortage of over 200 nurses.

Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, says his Ministry is working hard to return the nursing staff to its full strength of 486 nurses.

Dr. Tufton says the Type B hospital, which was built in 1952 with a 277-bed capacity, is now overcrowded with 437 patients.

He says the facility must be upgraded to a Type A hospital immediately.

According to the Health Minister, the Spanish Town Hospital dealt with 86-thousand patients last year.

However, he says upgrading the hospital is not possible until major issues affecting service there are resolved.

He says his ministry should have a plan by December to upgrade the facility to a type A hospital.