Tue | May 23, 2017

Smoke threat forces health centres to extend hours

Published:Sunday | March 15, 2015 | 3:00 AM
A view of the Mandela Highway blanketed by smoke from the Riverton Dump yesterday.
A senior citizen covers her nose with a dust mask in St Andrew yesterday.
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The South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) yesterday extended the opening hours of several health centres in the Corporate Area and St Catherine to deal with the crisis sparked by the fire at the Riverton City dump.

Chairman of the SERHA Dr, Andrei Cooke said in light of the ongoing environmental challenges, some hospitals and health centres are currently experiencing an increase in the demand for services, particularly for respiratory conditions.

"We have been instructed by the Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson to activate SERHA's Emergency Operation Centre, which is being manned by the regional technical team, to streamline and coordinate our response efforts," said Cooke yesterday.

The health centres that remained open yesterday and will operate today include the Glen Vincent Health Centre, Olympic Gardens Health Centre and the Maxfield Park Health Centre in Kingston and St Andrew as well as the St Jago Park Health Centre in St Catherine.

"We extended the opening hours for the Accident and Emergency Department, National Chest Hospital, to deal with some of the cases where possible, so as to alleviate the burden on the major hospitals" said Cooke.

"The public is being urged to utilise the health centres for non-urgent illnesses and visit the hospital only if it is an emergency."