Tue | Jan 15, 2019

Adopt-A-Clinic partners with UK diaspora company to improve healthcare

Published:Monday | July 9, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton (centre) and Member of Parliament for Westmoreland Central, Dwayne Vaz (right) celebrate the adoption of the Petersfield Health Centre with staff at the facility.
Councillor for the Petersfield division, George Wright (third left), Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton (centre), Member of Parliament for Westmoreland Central, Dwayne Vaz (third from right), Eric Clarke, chairman of the Management Committee at the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital (second right) and rgional director of the Western Regional Health Authority, Errol Greene with staff and patients of the Petersfield health centre after it was officially adopted.

In times of crises, a health centre can be the difference between life and death for Jamaicans across the island. However, many health centres cannot adequately meet the needs of its patients due to a lack of resources.

For this reason, the Ministry of Health called upon Jamaicans at home and abroad to assist in providing resources by adopting clinics, and many have heeded the call.

The Mount Carey Health Centre in St James and the Petersfield Health Centre in Westmoreland are the latest to be officially adopted. Both were taken on by Utopia Travel, UK, in two separate ceremonies on Thursday, July 5.

The travel company, operated by members of the Jamaican diaspora who have representatives who are formerly from Mount Carey and Petersfield, has committed to partnering with the Adopt-A-Clinic programme to upgrade the clinics over the next three to five years.

Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton, in his keynote address at the ceremony in Petersfield, said, "What this adoption represents is a partnership between the clinic and a community of people. And that partnership applies to the wider society and primary healthcare, as there are former residents of this community who are abroad and are successful, who recall when community facilities aided in their overall well-being and eventual success and want to give back to those communities."

He echoed his earlier sentiments at the ceremony in Mount Carey, where he said, "We as a Government must recognise when these partnerships are viable and facilitate opportunities for those who want to give back to do so. That is what these adoptions are doing."

For the duration of the adoption, both clinics can look forward to their infrastructural needs, such as roof and plumbing repairs, and securing additional equipment, like nebulisers and pulse oximeters, being addressed.




At the Mount Carey unveiling, Mayor Homer Davis who welcomed the Adopt-A-Clinic initiative and gave the full endorsement of the St James Municipal Corporation, also expressed an eagerness for the development of similar partnerships: "I must say, and I hope the minister gets my hint, that there are other clinics in south St James and, indeed, St James in general, that are in need and waiting to be adopted."

At the launch of the Adopt-A-Clinic programme, which sees entities adopting and donating funds to help meet the needs of health centres that government-allocated budgets are unable to meet, 100 of the nation's health centres were listed as clinics urgently in need of adoption.

The Mount Carey and Petersfield adoptions bring the total number of adopted clinics to eight. There are more than 50 active interests from corporate Jamaica, the Jamaican diaspora and friends of Jamaica to adopt clinics.