JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The extensively refurbished and expanded Williamsfield Health Centre, in Westmoreland, was re-opened on October 3 by Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson.
  • The facility, which was upgraded at a cost of $8 million, is now able to accommodate more persons with its additional examination rooms, and larger waiting areas. Financing for the project was provided by the National Health Fund (NHF).
  • “It is cheaper to treat patients in health centres versus treating them in hospitals. It is cheaper to develop that community spirit around your health centres than you would in a normal way, in the hospital,” Dr. Ferguson said.

The extensively refurbished and expanded Williamsfield Health Centre, in Westmoreland, was re-opened on October 3 by Minister of Health, Hon.  Dr. Fenton Ferguson.

The facility, which was upgraded at a cost of  $8 million, is now able to accommodate more persons with its additional examination rooms, and larger waiting areas. Financing for the project was provided by the National Health Fund (NHF).

In his address, the Minister emphasized that primary health care must be seen as a priority of any government, present or future.

“It is cheaper to treat patients in health centres versus treating them in hospitals.  It is cheaper to develop that community spirit around your health centres than you would in a normal way, in the hospital,” Dr. Ferguson said.

He noted that despite the challenges, Jamaica has been able to deal successfully with the communicable and non-communicable diseases, mainly because of the country’s network of health centres.

“We must therefore continue to build and expand our health centres and we must continue to establish Centres of Excellence and comprehensive clinics across the country,” the Minister said.

Turning to the Chikungunya disease, Dr. Ferguson said that the virus is new to Jamaica, hence most, if not all persons have no immunity against  the virus.

“Therefore, what is needed is a sustainable programme for public education. It cannot be a seasonal approach each time there is a virus, such as the flu or dengue…we need a sustainable programme right around the year, telling and educating people  about how to deal with vectors,”  the Minister said.

Dr. Ferguson  said he  is pleased with the work done at the Williamsfield Health Centre, and pledged to construct a security fence around the facility.