Tue | Jun 25, 2019

Massy gives Seaview Gardens Health Centre a shot in the arm - Patients, staff look to improved service as 9th facility gets adopted

Published:Saturday | May 4, 2019 | 12:10 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton (left); Peter Graham, country manager for Massy Jamaica; and Member of Parliament Anthony Hylton are all smiles at the Ministry of Health’s Adopt-a-Clinic ceremony at the Seaview Gardens Health Centre in St Andrew on Tuesday.
Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton (left); Peter Graham, country manager for Massy Jamaica; and Member of Parliament Anthony Hylton are all smiles at the Ministry of Health’s Adopt-a-Clinic ceremony at the Seaview Gardens Health Centre in St Andrew on Tuesday.

Patients who use the Seaview Gardens Health Centre in St Andrew are looking to benefit from a $3-million injection from Massy Jamaica through the Ministry of Health’s Adopt-a-Clinic Programme.

The partnership is one which Dr Richard Manning, medical officer in charge of the facility, says is “tremendously appreciated” as the institution has a long list of needs.

“We are lacking a long list of stuff like modernised medical examination beds for patients to be comfortable. The world is going electronic, so we need an electronic scale to weigh babies. The dental service area needs a proper dental chair. Most of the times, it breaks down and we have to constantly maintain it. Also, patients sit on tough benches, so we want to replace them with something comfortable as they wait to see the doctor. And because Seaview Gardens is a relatively hot area, we need additional ceiling fans to cool the place down.”

Seaview Gardens resident Shaneika Williams says the waiting area at the health centre can become unbearably hot during busy periods.

“They need more fans because inside well hot, especially when it is crowded,” she said.

Senior citizen Melveta Smith, who retired from working at the facility after 15 years and who now accesses care at the health centre, pointed out that “they need a water cooler”.

FORCE FOR GOOD

After learning of the facility’s needs, including small items such as a public address system, country manager for Massy Jamaica Peter Graham said he approached the ministry to join the Adopt-a-Clinic Programme.

“Our purpose is a force for good, creating value and transforming life. We always search for ways to bring that to life. We approached the ministry because we know the value it can have on the community. We have committed $3 million to the facility. If we can go above that, we will,” Graham said.

Anthony Hylton, member of parliament for St Andrew Western in which Seaview Gardens is located, described the partnership with Massy as being of “inestimable value”.

“People come here from as far as Penwood Road and surrounding areas. I would say even from Riverton, which has a smaller facility. With adjoining communities, this facility serves 20,000 people annually,” Hylton said. “To enhance this facility benefits the nation as a whole because it forms another part of the chain in the health service and we are only as strong as our weakest link. If you have poor areas all over the country where diseases can creep in, we have yet another national problem, so this is important.”

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton used the occasion to urge the rest of corporate Jamaica to join the programme, adding that more health centres would be adopted in short order.

“This is the ninth adoption and we have about 50 lined up. We have done only nine so far since the programme started a year and half ago because we have just been able to conclude on the memorandum of understanding through the accountant general’s office. The principle of giving back is a very solid corporate social responsibility obligation. We encourage all to think about it and engage,” Tufton said.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com