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The Government is investing $180 million to improve services at the Annotto Bay Hospital in St. Mary with the construction of a new laboratory and physiotherapy building.

Speaking at the ceremony to break ground on June 12, Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said at the end of construction, which is slated to last for 14 months, the facility is going to “transform the services that we offer here”.

“We must ensure that we spread the development, so that if people know that they get good services in Annotto Bay because there is a hospital there and all the critical services, then people are going to settle here and the quality of life is going to be as anywhere else,” he said.

The Minister told the audience that he and his team at the Ministry have been very careful in looking at gaps in the health system and have developed a plan to create a level of “quality access”, so that people can be served without making long treks to the capital city for health services.

The new building will also house a blood bank, a conference room, and the office of the Senior Medical Officer (SMO).

Meanwhile, the Minister lauded the work of the medical team in the parish for their efforts in containing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), especially during the recent quarantining of three communities in the area.

Financing for the new building is provided by the National Health Fund (NHF).

For his part, Member of Parliament for South East St. Mary, Dr. Norman Dunn, said the residents stand to benefit from improved healthcare with the addition of the new facility.

He also offered commendations to the health workers in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the parish.

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