Community Members Pleased with Reopening of Hagley Park Health Centre
Users of the Hagley Park Health Centre in South West St. Andrew are hailing the reopening of the refurbished facility, which has been closed since 2015.
The centre, which serves approximately 27,000 residents in 14 communities, was renovated at a cost of $42 million and now boasts new and improved features such as covered walkways and awnings, new sanitary facilities, air conditioning, fire-safety features, and access for disabled persons.
Some of the communities served by the centre include Olympic Way, Waltham Park Road, Seivwright Gardens, York Avenue, White Wing, Majesty Gardens, Hagley Park Road, Delacree Park and Seaview Gardens.
In an interview with JIS News following the official reopening ceremony on July 4, community member, Nicole Tallo, said the renovated facility is more comfortable for persons who need healthcare.
“The facility wasn’t that nice, but the renovation is very nice right now. Before the renovation, the bathroom was not so nice. Now it’s very good,” she says.
Ms. Tallo says that prior to the reopening, she had to travel much farther to access healthcare services.
She expresses gratitude to the stakeholders who were integral in completing the project. “We thank them for doing this for the community,” she tells JIS News.
For her part, Senior Public Health Nurse, Charmaine Vassell Shettlewood, who used the facility as a child, says she is pleased with the renovation work.
Mrs. Vassell Shettlewood, who was also a member of staff at the facility in 2009, tells JIS News that the improvement will boost the inpatient experience and overall service delivery.
In his address, Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said the Type Three facility, which offers a range of healthcare, as well as pharmacy services, will allow community members to “access good public healthcare at the primary level”.
“You will get medication more promptly, and that’s important, because waiting time is a challenge in the system and we are trying to correct that by offering more options under the NHF [National Health Fund] programme,” he said.
Dr. Tufton urged community members to utilise the services at the facility instead of hospitals, which are usually located farther.
He encouraged Jamaicans to adopt healthy lifestyle practices and focus on a preventative approach to health, rather than a curative approach.
Stressing the importance of improved health facilities for both the patients and medical staff, former Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for the area, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, said it will allow the staff to be in a better position to treat more patients.
“They will have more comfortable workspaces, which will positively impact their output,” she said.
Mrs. Simpson Miller urged the community members to protect the facility. “It is here to serve you the citizens of this community and surrounding areas. You have a responsibility to protect it, watch it and ensure that it is not vandalised. Please ensure that you help to keep it in excellent condition,” she said.
Chief Executive Officer, NHF, Everton Anderson, said the Fund is involved in partnering with all stakeholders to improve healthcare in Jamaica.
“Whether it be through our pharmacies, through our individual benefits programme, we recognise that for health to improve, it has to be a partnership,” he said.
He pointed out that in a few months, the Fund will be moving to provide a world-class pharmacy service at the health centre.
“Our Senior Vice-President has toured the pharmacy and is… working with the community to ensure that every patient gets their prescription filled promptly at this health centre,” he said.
In her remarks, Regional Director, South East Regional Health Authority, Maureen Golding, said the facility has been serving the communities for more than 50 years.
She noted that all primary-healthcare facilities across the region will be upgraded and renovated on a phased basis. “This is the third healthcare facility that has been completed over the last 12 months,” she said.
The project was financed through the NHF. Ground was broken for the renovation works in February 2015.
The facility provides mental health, child health, medical/curative, pharmaceutical, dental and maternity services.
source : jis