Tufton announces health centres renewal programme

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Tufton announces health centres renewal programme

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

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Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton on Friday announced a renewal programme for the country's health centres which will see the injection of 100 medical doctors in the public health system.

He also noted that at least 13 health centres will be upgraded in the first phase next year, and that the cost of the renewal programme is US$9.5 million.

“Early in the new year, we're going to be unveiling that renewal programme with a timeline for roll-out,” the minister said at the reopening of the renovated Stony Hill Health Centre in St Andrew.

Explaining what the renewal programme will entail, Tufton said it is about re-categorisation of health centres.

“Some 127 of the 320 centres will be re-categorised based on where they're located, what the population centres look like, what the sick profile looks like. And we are going to be focusing more on curative services at the primary level in order to keep citizens out of the accident and emergency units, which are normally crowded, because that's the only option that people think they have,” the minister said.

Dr Tufton indicated that the Government has already signed off on the money, which has been secured through a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank, to upgrade the centres.

The centres that will benefit include Greater Portmore, St Jago, and Old Harbour in St Catherine; Mocho, May Pen West, Chapelton and Lionel Town in Clarendon; and St Ann's Bay, Ocho Rios and Brown's Town in St Ann.

“We are now at the stage where Cabinet has just approved the design firm that is going to now go into these facilities and redesign and do the architectural work, so that we can have construction beginning in the new year and over the next few years,” he said.

The Stony Hill Health Centre was recently renovated, expanded, and equipped at a cost of $80 million. The six-month expansion work was funded by the National Health Fund, through its Institutional Benefits Fund Programme.

— JIS


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