KINGSTON — The newly refurbished Lawrence Tavern health centre, in West Rural St. Andrew, was officially re-opened on September 1, by Health Minister, Hon. Rudyard Spencer.
Refurbishing of the centre, a Type III facility, which was done over a five-month period, between October 2010 and March this year, by the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), was funded by the National Health Fund (NHF) at a cost of approximately $8 million, under the Health Ministry’s islandwide Primary Health Care Renewal Programme.
Speaking at the function, NHF Board Chairman, Leslie Campbell, informed that the Lawrence Tavern centre was one of 13 in the south east health region, incorporating Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Catherine, and St. Thomas, earmarked by the Ministry of Health for repairs, for which $62 million was allocated.
“The work included painting, tiling, electrical repairs, repairs to cupboards, and the construction of a link-way between the two buildings (comprising the facility). The Primary Health Care Renewal Programme involves repairs right across the island,” Mr. Campbell said.
“The objective is to increase access to health care for persons from all walks of life, by providing improved facilities for patients and for health care workers, generally,” he added.
In his remarks, State Minister in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and Member of Parliament for West Rural St. Andrew, Hon. Andrew Gallimore, expressed gratitude for the refurbished facility.
He said the improved facility would make a “significant difference” in the quality of life of the thousands of residents in the over 11 communities in the region, including Lawrence Tavern, Glengoffe, Burnt Shop, Temple Hall, Mahoney, Mount Ogle, Belmont, Cavaliers, Paisley and Essex Hall.
Mr. Gallimore said the works, which also included re-roofing, installation of grills, a kitchenette, and wheel chair ramps, as well as refurbishing of the bathroom facilities, “are all welcomed upgrades."
“We are pleased with what has been done here. I am also very pleased to see that the installation of wheel chair ramps was a part of the project, to fully embrace those with disabilities, to make them feel comfortable to come and use the services at this health centre,” he added.
Meanwhile, Minister Spencer said that based on the extent of works undertaken, the allocation made for the project was “money well spent."
“We believe that in re-roofing the buildings, putting in cabinets, walkways and making the health centre habitable for the people in the surrounding districts, is not only doing justice to those people, but it is a step in ensuring that the thousands of Jamaicans who now seek health care, can do so in an atmosphere that is conducive to good health care,” the Minister said.
The function was also attended by Custos of St. Andrew, Hon. Marigold Harding, as well as executives of the Health Ministry, NHF and SERHA.
By Douglas Mcintosh, JIS Reporter