JIS News

Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer says that rehabilitation work on 36 clinics islandwide have been completed, and that another 28 will be completed by the end of the year, which would bring an end to Phase One of the project to rehabilitate health centres.
Making his contribution to the 2010/11 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, today (September 21), the Minister pointed out that health centres in the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Catherine, St. Mary, St. Thomas, Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Hanover, Trelawny, St. Ann and St. James have been repaired.
The Minister said that Phase One of the project is being funded by the National Health Fund (NHF) at a cost of $300 million, adding that the Ministry of Health is preparing for Phase Two, which will be implemented during the 2011/2012 financial period.
In addition, he said repairs have been completed on 11 of 19 clinics under the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), at a total project cost of $131 million.
The Minister noted that some emphasis will be placed on those health centres that are in close proximity to hospitals, citing the Mt. Salem Health Centre in Montego Bay as an example.
“Patient utilisation increased by just four per cent at the Accident and Emergency Department of the Cornwall Regional Hospital (in Montego Bay), in 2009, as against 48 per cent at Savanna-la-Mar Hospital (in Westmoreland). This is because of the extended opening hours of the Mt. Salem Health Centre,” he said.
He further informed that visits to the Mt. Salem Health Centre increased dramatically, moving from 4,316 in 2007 to 21,434 in 2008 and 39,850 in 2009. “This demonstrates that people will use the health centres if they are properly resourced and accessible,” the Minister told the House.

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