Clarendon health official, MP deny health centre will be shutteredFriday, June 18, 2021
CLARENDON, Jamaica — A health official and the elected representative for the area have both dismissed claims that the Summerfield Health Centre will be closed after rumours to that effect saw residents attempting to lock the gate to the facility Friday morning.
Staff turned up at the centre shortly before 7:00 am to find furious residents barricading the gate.
“Mi hear seh dem a lock di health centre so mi a demonstrate cause dem cyaan lock it,” said one woman who did not want to be identified by name.
However, parish manager of the Clarendon Health Services Joseph Grant was befuddled by the protest.
“None of the arguments that the residents put forward is true, and so to hear that they are locking the gates is really out of context. Somebody instigating something that is unfounded,” he told OBSERVER ONLINE.
There had been no mention of the facility being closed, he said, during Thursday's meeting with staff.
“We spoke to them because we understand that they are working in a challenging time and so we encouraged them as to how they should operate proficiently and efficiently in this pandemic,” he added. With work being done on Chapelton Hospital, patients from that facility are being rerouted to the Summerfield Health Centre.
According to Grant, for each shift there are usually four doctors, on average, working alongside a family nurse practitioner.
Member of Parliament for Clarendon North Central Robert Morgan was equally surprised at the protest and gave a similar account of the discussions during the staff meeting.
“I was a part of the meeting yesterday and I commended the staff for the hard work they were doing. I told them we know they are overworked and we are appreciative of the sacrifices they are making,” he said.
The MP explained that work on the Chapelton facility had been at a standstill for several months because of challenges with procurement but it is expected that work will resume in short order.
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