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Ferguson vows increased focus on the provision of health services for rural and underserved areas'

Published:Sunday | February 8, 2015 | 2:00 AM
Gladstone Taylor / Photographer From left: Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson; Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller; Sterling Soares, chairman of the National Health Fund and Dr Andrei Cooke, chairman South East Regional Health Authority at the ground breaking for the Hagley Park Health Centre.

Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson says there has been an increased focus on rural and underserved areas with respect to the provision of health services.

Speaking during the official groundbreaking to mark the start of the $42.6 million renovation of the Hagley Park Health Centre last Friday, Ferguson says this is an area of focus for the administration.

"The prime minister is deeply concerned about the under served areas and rural Jamaica, and so she has put in place a Rural Development Unit. We have a national blood transfusion service mobile unit to go across the island to collect blood.

"We have a mobile medical unit that has arrived in Jamaica to go to underserved areas. I also launched a mobile Registrar General's Department unit to get into these areas to ensure that children are registered. We have to deliver to the ordinary people, and we are working on that," said Ferguson.

He added that Cabinet just approved the Primary Health Care Renewal policy, which "will result in a paradigm shift in how we deliver care at the community level. We are clear about where we are going now in relation to primary health care".

The Hagley Park Health Centre is a Type Three facility offering services including maternal and child health, curative, dental health, mental health, sexually transmitted infections testing and treatment, and pharmacy.

The project which is estimated to last 10 months, will facilitate increased access that will meet the demands of the 14 communities the facility currently serves. Funding is being provided by the National Health Fund.