JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The project is being jointly financed by the NHF and CHASE Fund.
  • The centre will serve to further boost the health provisions across the region, where the government earmarked expenditure of over $100 million to significantly enhance medical services.
  • Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Ferguson, said more than 100 health centres have been refurbished, while he reaffirmed the Government's commitment to modernise the health care sector.

Residents of Exchange in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, are to benefit from a health centre to be constructed by the Ministry of Health at a cost of $39 million.

The project is being jointly financed by the National Health Fund (NHF) and Culture, Health, Arts, Sports, and Education (CHASE) Fund, and will provide beneficiaries with access to maternal and child, environmental, mental, dental health, nutrition and curative, and health education services, on its completion within six months/

The North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA) will have administrative responsibility for the operations of the centre, which is a Type II facility.

The centre will serve to further boost the health provisions across the region, where the government earmarked expenditure of over $100 million to significantly enhance medical services.

This includes work being done to transform the Claremont Health Centre into a Centre of Excellence.

Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, broke ground for the project’s commencement and delivered brief remarks, during a ceremony at the project site, on May 2.

In his address, Dr. Ferguson underscored the importance of the government’s strengthening of primary health care, particularly in light of the increased incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), consequent on what he described as “the trend of unhealthy lifestyles.”

“These diseases have created a new demand for long-term care and community support; health centres will play a more active role, in this regard,” he stated.

Dr.  Ferguson assured that as the government moves to reposition primary health care as the foundation of Jamaica’s health care system, he remains committed to mobilizing community involvement in making decisions on matters relating to citizens’ welfare. He also gave the administration’s undertaking to the sector’s continued transformation.

“More than 100 health centres have been refurbished; and we continue to put projects in place to improve others. We are committed to modernizing the public health sector and ensuring that we improve access to health services for all Jamaicans, especially the vulnerable. We are committed to improving the quality of health care for the people of Jamaica,” he declared.

The Minister said in relation to secondary health care, improvement and refurbishing works are currently being undertaken at several hospitals in this category.

Meanwhile, NHF Chief Executive Officer, Everton Anderson, said the organization welcomed the opportunity to participate in the development of the Exchange Health Centre project. This, in support of the government’s national health care policy, he added.

Member of Parliament for North East, St. Ann, where the facility will be built, Shahine Robinson, welcomed and expressed gratitude for the project’s implementation.