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National Health Fund in the market for property to develop HQ

Published:Wednesday | April 1, 2015 | 4:00 AM
FileEverton Anderson, chief executive officer of the National Health Fund.

Everton Anderson, chief executive officer of the National Health Fund (NHF), says the agency's purchase of Lot 5 Marcus Garvey Drive from the Factories Corporation of Jamaica was prompted by the need to upgrade its pharmaceutical distribution hub.

The property was acquired for $42 million.

Anderson also said NHF is in the market for a suitable property - land or building - to house its corporate office. The administrative offices are currently based at The Towers at Dominica Drive in New Kingston where NHFpays around $4.6 million annually in rent and maintenance for 14,928 square feet of space.

Anderson declined comment on the budget set aside for the new acquisition.

The only other property owned by the agency is at 2 Union Square, Kingston, from where an NHF Drug Serv Pharmacy operates.

Anderson said the outright purchase of the Marcus Garvey Drive property was considered to be a better option than leasing "because it puts NHF in a position to undertake much-needed upgrade to the buildings on the property that have been used for the warehousing of pharmaceuticals by HCL, prior to the operations of this entity being transferred to NHF."

HCL refers to Health Corporation Limited which was founded in 1994 and merged with NHF in 2010.

The property already housed NHF's pharmaceutical warehouse, and will continue to be used for that purpose, along with medical supplies for distribution to the public health sector.

The property is 2.29 acres in size, while the warehouse and administration office span 28,274.20 square feet.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com