Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Administrator bemoans customs challenges at launch of mobile clinic

Published:Monday | April 3, 2017 | 4:00 AM

Communities across Jamaica are set to benefit from much-needed, free health check-ups and prescriptions, thanks to the generosity and commitment to a healthy society by Rohan McNellie, proprietor of the Three Angels Pharmacy in Mandeville.
The launch represents the fulfillment of a seven-year dream of McNellie’s to give back to the community by taking health care to them via a mobile clinic, alleviating the stress on the public health system.
During the launch of the clinic, which took place at the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Mandeville, Manchester, guest speaker and CEO of the Andrews Memorial Hospital (AMH), Dr Marvin Rouhotas, lamented the challenges faced by health-care providers in getting imported equipment to assist people with health-care needs.


FRUSTRATING CUSTOMS PROCESS


“I really would pray, and ask all of you to pray, that the Ministry of Health will help us as medical professionals, health-care providers and people who have passion to reach out and touch the lives of those in our community, to allow us to bring vehicles, medical supplies, equipment and instruments into the country with less frustration,” said Rouhotas.
“I have experienced this at a very incredible-high level ­ the Customs, tariffs in trying to get things off the wharf ­ sometimes it is so frustrating and difficult.”
Rouhotas, who became the new CEO of AMH in 2016 and who has held several top positions at medical facilities in the United States, also added: “I think we all need to push for more leniency and more favours in that particular area.”


... Mobile clinic not just for Mandeville


The community mobile clinic launched in Mandeville, Manchester, is expected to provide what Rohan McNellie, proprietor of the Three Angels Pharmacy in the town, describes as the ‘know your numbers’ free tests ­ namely, blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood glucose, ECG, along with a doctor’s services in air-conditioned comfort.
“The idea of this mobile clinic is to take health care to the people where they are,” explained McNellie.
“There are many persons, especially males, who are hesitant to go the doctor or hospital for various reasons, but are more comfortable when a mobile clinic comes to them.”
Research has shown that males die before females in all categories of death because of various perceived fears of seeing a doctor and getting regular medical check-ups.
The clinic is equipped with a doctor’s office with bed, fridge, stove, bathroom facilities and a mini pharmacy. It also has the flexibility to be retrofitted to facilitate other medical procedures.
McNellie was quick to point out that the clinic is not just for Mandeville, but wherever the need arises.
“It’s not just a Mandeville initiative, it’s national; wherever the call is, we will go. It’s non-discriminatory because we will cover all genders, race, ethnicity and the political divide. It’s about helping people and meeting their health needs wherever they are, regardless of who they are.”


CLINIC SPONSORS


The mobile clinic, which should start its community activities in the next three weeks, will be manned by the pharmacy’s staff and retired volunteer nurses and doctors. It is sponsored by the pharmacy with support from companies such as Lasco Pharmaceuticals, Cari-Med Ltd, Denk Pharmaceuticals and IADPA Book Stores, which will provide healthy lifestyle books and other holistic material for the patients seen by the clinic.
Mayor of Mandeville Donovan Mitchell cut the ribbon to officially open the clinic, while the prayer of consecration was done by Pastor Dudley Hosin, prayer coordinator of the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.