A contract valued at approximately $21 million was signed between the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) for rehabilitation of the Sandy Bay Health Centre in Hanover.
The signing took place on Thursday (July 19) on the grounds of the health centre. Work on the four-month project, is scheduled to begin immediately, and includes
rehabilitation of bathrooms with the provision of rails for the physically challenged; replacement of roof; replacement of windows and doors; electrical and plumbing installations; painting of interior and exterior walls; paving of walkway; provision of equipment cupboards; and the rehabilitation of perimeter chain link fencing.
Advisor to the Minister of Health, Hurley Taylor, in his remarks at the signing ceremony, stated that improving primary health care is a central plank of the government’s health care programme.
"The truth is that …if we were to do certain things well, and do them consistently (at the primary level), we would reduce our attendance at the secondary health facilities," he stated.
Turning to the issue of tobacco smoking, Mr. Taylor said the Government is committed to enacting legislation to prevent smoking in public spaces.
"I want to make it abundantly clear that the administration is not going to outlaw smoking, what it is saying is that, if you chose to smoke, do not do it in a public place, where you put at severe risk, those who chose not to smoke," he stated.
JSIF representative, Celia Dillon, in her comments, stated that the Sandy Bay Health Centre, was prioritised for improvement based on its location, the fact that it is a Type II facility, which offers a range of services, and the number of communities that it serves.
"With such a wide range of services, the optimal use of the facility contributes directly to the attainment of one of our Millennium Development Goals, which includes the reduction of child mortality and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases," she stated.
Funding for the project was provided by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).