JBI allocates J$5M to refurbish the Broadleaf Health Centre
Director of Bauxite Lands, Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI), Kemoy Lindsay (left), and acting parish manager, Manchester Health Department, Carlton Nichols (centre), in discussion with member of parliament for Manchester Central, Rhoda Crawford, during a tour of Broadleaf Health Centre in Manchester on Wednesday (Photo: JIS)

The Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) has allocated J$5 million to carry out refurbishing work at the Broadleaf Health Centre in Manchester.

Approximately 5,000 residents of the community and surrounding areas are expected to benefit from the project, which is expected to begin in October and end before Christmas.

The improvement works will facilitate the reopening of the facility, which has been closed for some time, with residents now accessing care at the Porus or Mandeville health centres.

Quantity surveyor at the Southern Regional Health Authority, Bobby Barton, who led a tour of the clinic on Wednesday, said that the scope of work will cover the addition of a room at the rear of the building, which was a request from the medical team.

Barton also said that the funds received by the Broadleaf Health Centre will help to improve other facilities at the clinic.

“We have a sum for the patient and staff bathrooms, handrails, upgrades of electrical works, termite treatment for the entire building, plumbing upgrades,” he said.

Director of Bauxite Lands for the JBI, Kemoy Lindsay, cited that the rehabilitation of the Broadleaf Health Centre is part of a comprehensive rollout of healthcare support for bauxite-producing communities.

He said that since 1996, some $1 billion in earnings from the sector has been reinvested in improving health facilities.

He also noted that the JBI has invested in other areas such as roads, schools, agriculture, and education.

“We are currently looking at Broadleaf as well as Alexandria Hospital in St Ann and Black River Hospital in St Elizabeth,” he said.

“This is because it is of importance to the JBI that the money earned from bauxite, must go back to support that aspect of society.”

“We do investments in schools, roads, economic development, agriculture and education,” he added.

Lindsay said that at Broadleaf, there is also a need to address perimeter fencing, landscaping and parking and he would be having additional dialogue in that regard.

Meanwhile, member of parliament for Manchester Central, Rhoda Moy Crawford, expressed delight at the planned refurbishing of the Broadleaf Health Centre, noting that road repairs will be undertaken and public WI-Fi service will be available in the area soon.

“I am very happy with this initiative because… when these services are offered in the community it takes a burden off the main health clinic or hospital,” she said.

She said it will also reduce the cost of travel to Mandeville or Porus to access primary healthcare.

“It is welcomed and once it is reopened, any assistance that my office can give, I am committed to doing that,” she added.

Acting parish manager for the Manchester Health Department, Carlton Nichols, welcomed the support from the JBI to repair the clinic, noting that such collaborations are important in driving sustainable development in the country.

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