Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Health Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson officially opened the Santa Cruz Health Centre of Excellence, in St Elizabeth on Friday November 29
  • Addressing the official opening ceremony for the Santa Cruz facility, Minister Ferguson outlined that approximately $25 million was spent to carry out the construction and refurbishing works in phase one
  • Meanwhile, he argued that community input is essential to the sustainability of the health facilities.

Minister of Health Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson officially opened the Santa Cruz Health Centre of Excellence, in St Elizabeth on Friday November 29 Minister Ferguson simultaneously broke ground for the start of phase two of the work to be done on the facility.

The Santa Cruz Health Centre of Excellence is the first of four such facilities to be officially opened. The other centres are now at varying stages of completion and are being located at: Darliston, in Westmoreland; Issac Barrant, in St Thomas; and Claremont, in St. Ann.

Addressing the official opening ceremony for the Santa Cruz facility, Minister Ferguson outlined that approximately $25 million was spent to carry out the construction and refurbishing works in phase one, with $8 .2 million, of that amount used to provide new equipment for the upgraded facility.

He said that another $88 million will be spent in phase two, bringing the total investment to $113 million.

Funding for the project is being provided by the National Health Fund (NHF), for which the Health Minister expressed appreciation, adding that the Health Centres of Excellence forms part of the government’s strategic priority for human capital development.

“Health must not be seen just as a social good for a people, it must be seen also as a contributor to the national economy,” he stated.

Mr. Ferguson added that it is for this reason that health tourism will become a significant item on his agenda.

Meanwhile, he argued that community input is essential to the sustainability of the health facilities.

“It is my hope that apart from the investment in the physical infrastructure of primary health care facilities, we will also have social and community investment.  In the same way that we have friends of hospitals and hospital management committees, I am recommending that we also have these networks for primary health care facilities,” he stated.

The Health Minister indicated that his ministry will start the initiative by putting in place management committees for the Health Centres of Excellence when they are established.

“So that we may be able to get onboard all the interest out there in the community to be able to play its role in maintaining and ensuring that what we do in our facilities is geared towards  the best quality care for our people,” he explained.