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Renovated Balaclava Health Centre reopens

Monday, December 11, 2017

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ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) — The newly renovated Balaclava Health Centre in St Elizabeth was officially reopened on December 7, with expanded space and amenities to better serve the more than 15,000 persons who reside in the community and outlying districts.

The rehabilitation of the facility was undertaken with a capital injection of $14 million from the Culture, Health, Arts, Science and Education (CHASE) Fund, and included replacing the timber roof with concrete; reinforcing the foundation to make it structurally sound; the addition of 400 square feet of office space; installation of concrete cupboards; and laying new tiles, among other things.

During his address at the reopening ceremony, Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Tufton, said he is happy that the clinic, which caters to an average of 800 patients on a monthly basis, will now be better able to deliver service.

“I want to thank CHASE, the Southern Regional Health Authority and the parish health services for this work they have done here at Balaclava. It certainly deserves commendations and recognition – another successful project, another set of funds that have been well-spent, and clearly will benefit an entire community. It speaks to the importance of partnerships in public health,” he added.

Chief Executive Officer of the CHASE Fund, William 'Billy' Heaven, stressed the need for good customer service delivery in order for the health services to meet its objectives.

“We (CHASE Fund) have taken an interest in health centres and primary healthcare, but let me say this to you that, in order for this facility to optimise the delivery of primary healthcare there must be good customer service,” he noted.

“We hope that this health centre will be accessible and the health services will be affordable. I have no doubt that the product offering will be of a high quality, there will be accountability of what takes place here and also good governance systems in place,” he added.

Parish Manager of St Elizabeth Health Services, Sean Brissett, lauded the intervention from CHASE. He noted that the improvements will better enable the health services to meet the demands of the population, which has seen significant growth over the years.

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