The upgraded Flanker Health Centre in St. James was officially reopened on December 1 by Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.
The facility was rehabilitated at a cost of $47.3 million under the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP), with funding by the European Union (EU).
Included in the scope of work are two new consultation rooms, two treatment rooms, a health inspector’s office, an administrative office, new roofing and perimeter fencing.
The health centre serves more than 3,000 residents in Flanker and neighbouring communities. It will also serve as a vaccination centre in the community.
Dr. Tufton lauded JSIF, the EU and the other agencies involved in the rehabilitation project, noting that public health and primary healthcare is “everybody’s business”.
“I am a strong advocate for partnership as it relates to healthcare, whether it is private sector, public sector, donors, supporters, NGOs or development agencies. No one entity or agency can do it. It’s everybody’s business [and] also a personal responsibility,” he said.
Dr. Tufton emphasised that the Government is committed to the development of the country’s healthcare system and urged residents to work with staff at the facility to help promote and improve the primary healthcare process.
“We say to the community, work with them, preserve the infrastructure and see them as partners,” he said.
In the meantime, Managing Director of JSIF, Omar Sweeney, indicated that the rehabilitation of the Flanker Health Centre was completed in April of this year, where it went “smoothly, came in on time and on budget”.
He praised the EU for its continued funding since the PRP was established more than 20 years ago.
For her part, Resident of Flanker, Marion Ferguson, told JIS News that the centre is a welcome improvement to the community.
She argued that also utilising the facility as a vaccination centre would boost the number of persons who are inoculated against COVID-19.