Buff Bay to get state-of-the-art health centre
GROUND WAS broken for the construction of a $200-million state-of the-art district health centre in Buff Bay, Portland, by Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton on Friday.
Dr Tufton was accompanied by a team of health officials from the North East Regional Health Authority (NEHRA), the National Health Fund, along with West Portland Member of Parliament Daryl Vaz.
The health clinic, which will replace the old and ageing existing structure, has been long in coming, and according to Dr Tufton, it was well worth the wait as the facility will provide services to the people of Buff Bay and its environs.
Dr Tufton pointed out that the construction of the new health facility is as a result of persistent lobbying and representation on the part of Vaz, who he claimed was resolute in his efforts to ensure that the people of Buff Bay would get their much-needed health centre.
“So I am as pleased as he (Vaz) is today to be identified with the groundbreaking of what will be one of the most modern public health facilities in the parish of Portland,” said Dr Tufton.
He added: “... And it tells you what good representation is about. I want to say to you, the people, this is going to mean significant improvement in our ability to provide you with health services. It is going to mean so many important things that will one day become a part of history. For example, as we move the process through to its completion, Portland people don’t have to say dem born in St Mary again. Portland people will born in Portland, because of the maternity infrastructure that we are putting in place.”
According to Tufton, over time, the people of Buff Bay will see the facility taking shape, and the first aspect of the project is at a cost of $200 million, which will also see the construction of a centre of excellence – retrofitted with modern equipment.
The facility, when completed, will offer services to the people, including dental, antenatal, postnatal, family planning, a pharmacy, child health, nutrition, family planning, lab services, environmental health and services around communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Fabia Lamm, regional director, NEHRA, said the facility is of paramount importance to the people of Buff Bay and surrounding areas, who waited patiently for the project to become a reality.
“I am proud this morning to say to you that having gone through the procurement procedures, having awarded a contract, the contractor, who is Marshall’s Construction company, will over the next 14 months construct what will be the Buff Bay District Health Centre,” said Lamm.
She added: “What will be a feature of this health centre is what we call a trauma bay. And that trauma bay will be able to stabilise patients who need critical assistance in a hospital setting.”