Thousands of residents of St.Thomas and Portland are set to benefit from upgrading of the Isaac Barrant Health Centre in Golden Grove, which will be developed into a centre of excellence.
Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, on Thursday, February 7, signed two of three contracts valued at just over $25 million for development of the infrastructure and services at the health facility. The signing was witnessed by hundreds of residents and members of the parish medical fraternity, who embraced the project.
Contracts were signed with Thomas Hamilton and Associates Company Ltd., for refurbishing of the external areas of the facility at a cost of some $7.2 million; and with Constructions Solutions Limited, for the renovation of the dental area valuing approximately $5 million.
Dr. Ferguson explained that a third contract, for $13 million, is in the process of being finalized and will be for the renovation of the curative block.
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Funding will come from the National Health Fund (NHF), whose Board Chairman, Sterling Soares, explained that the $25 million is for phase one of the project.
Work to be done will include the construction of ramps, roof and electrical repairs, painting, grilling, tiling, signage, fencing, asphalting, plumbing, refurbishing of bathrooms, erection of offices, among other things.
The Isaac Barrant Health Centre is among four facilities across the island to be developed as centres of excellence.
These facilities, Dr. Ferguson explained, will assist in determining the way forward in terms of reconfiguration of the primary health care system and the upgrade of other health centres to better serve the needs of the population.
“With the development of these centres of excellence, we are confident that we can rebuild public confidence in the primary health care system and by virtue of that, reduce the burden on secondary and tertiary facilities,” Dr. Ferguson said.
As a Type 3 clinic, and former hospital, the Isaac Barrant Health Centre presently serves an average of 12,000 persons per year.