Tue | Dec 12, 2017

Trade Winds Citrus adopts Linstead Health Centre

Published:Thursday | November 30, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton (second left) greets Peter Douglas during a tour and launch of Adopt a Clinic held at St Jago Health Centre earlier this month. Looking on is Courtney Campbell, president and CEO of Victoria Mutual Building Society.

Coming on the heels of Victoria Mutual Building Society's (VMBS) announcement that they will be adopting 15 clinics across Jamaica under the Ministry of Health's Adopt A Clinic programme, Trade Winds Citrus Ltd has also committed to joining the partnership, adopting the Linstead Health Centre.

Managing Director of Trade Winds Citrus Peter McConnell lauded the Adopt A Clinic programme saying it is an opportunity for continued community partnership with the private sector.

"Tru-Juice values community development and we are proud to be a sponsor of this programme through which we have adopted the Linstead Health Centre. We believe in affordable and accessible health care for all and this is just one of the ways in which businesses can partner with the Ministry of Health to upgrade and increase confidence in primary health-care facilities across the island," McConnell said.

 

INVESTING AND SUPPORTING

 

Investing and supporting health care is not new for Trade Winds as the Linstead Hospital has been the beneficiary of the annual Tru-Juice 5K Run/Walk and Cycle event for a number of years.

At the programme launch ,held at the St Jago Health Centre in St Catherine on November 7, Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton said despite $1.5 billion being spent over the past six years to refurbish and equip 150 of the 320 health centres across the country, many challenges still remain in addressing all the concerns related to the facilities.

Among the needs to be addressed at the Linstead Health Centre through the adoption are the replacement of a number of doors, windows, chairs, desks and cupboards. The health centre should also see an expansion of its medical records room, as well as the building of a waiting area for patients.

The Ministry of Health encouraged Jamaicans to make use of their community health centres and clinics for non-emergency cases instead of visiting the already-crowded emergency departments. Community health centres are also integral in the detection of chronic diseases. However, this is a hard task as many of the facilities are in dire need of infrastructural and other improvements.

"It's even harder to ask people to use their community health centres when it lacks some of the basic infrastructure needed for them to operate efficiently. The cost of delivering health care has been rising exponentially and with restricted budgets, it's becoming more difficult to continue providing the basic things needed, hence the need for partners," Tufton said.

Rainforest eyes one or two

Rainforest Seafoods is in talks with the Ministry of Health to adopt a clinic, or two.

Bethany Young, marketing and communications manager of Rainforest Seafoods, said the company was currently engaging the ministry to turn plans into action to adopt at least one clinic, either in Montego Bay, where the company's main office is located, or elsewhere.

"Rainforest has always been committed to Jamaica's health-care sector and we saw the Adopt A Clinic programme as a great complement to what we are already doing in the sector. We know that the ministry is encouraging people to use their community clinics and health centres rather than going to the A&E departments at hospitals, so we thought, in addition to our support to Cornwall Regional Hospital, adding and supporting a clinic will continue our commitment to supporting primary health care in Jamaica."

Earlier this year, Rainforest Seafood Festival raised a record-breaking $10 million for the We Care for Cornwall Regional Hospital Foundation.

Adopt A Clinic was developed to encourage and facilitate the creation of public-private partnerships to improve the performance of the public health system by adopting one or more of the 320 health centres and clinics on the island.

One hundred health centres from all 14 parishes have been identified to be in need of urgent and critical improvement covering minor infrastructural upgrade, improved maintenance, small clinical and dental equipment, furnishing and gift of services, including clinical support.

To adopt a clinic, interested individuals and companies from Jamaica and the diaspora are asked to contact the Health for Life and Wellness Foundation, a charitable organisation established as an outreach of the Ministry of Health.