KINGSTON — Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, said the Government's programme of renovating and constructing community health centres is critical to providing quality health care to Jamaicans and reducing overcrowding and long waiting times at public hospitals.
“There is no point to ask people to visit health centres if the proper equipment are not in place,” Mr. Spencer stated on August 18, as he addressed the reopening of the Mitchell Town Health Centre in Clarendon.
More than 40 health centres across the island have already been rehabilitated under the $300 million Primary Health Care renewal programme, which is being financed by the National Health Fund (NHF).
Mr. Spencer said that there has been significant decline in people going to hospitals and "we are about to embark on the second tranche of the programme."
The Type one Mitchell Town clinic was renovated at a cost of $3.4 million, and the scope of work included refurbishing of the waiting area; electrical works; repairs to plumbing, roof and ceiling; installing new doors and windows, among other things.
The Health Minister appealed to the community members to take good care of the refurbished health centre. "Let nobody vandalize it, let nobody mistreat or abuse it as it was built with you in mind,” he stated.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), NHF, Hugh Lawson, said the refurbishing work will provide a better environment for the delivery of health care for its users.
The facility, located in Southern Clarendon will serve some 4,972 persons in the communities of Bogue, Belgium, West Harbour (Swamp), Bolton Town and Jungle Housing Scheme.
Come September services will be expanded to include family planning and antenatal care.
Minister Spencer in the meantime, informed that ground will be broken before the end of October for construction of health centres at Rocky Point and James Hill in Clarendon.
By CHRIS PATTERSON, JIS Reporter