Construction of Hope Health Clinic on schedule
Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU:Construction of the Good Shepherd Foundation's new Hope Health Clinic will continue as scheduled despite the postponement of the project's official contract-signing ceremony.
Construction began on January 16 and is projected for completion within a year at a cost of just under $275 million.
The contract signing between the Montego Bay-based charity organisation, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Montego Bay, and contractor Maffessanti Builders should have taken place at the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral's chancery office in Montego Bay on February 24.
However, the signing was put off because of the absence of a major signatory to the project, Bishop of Mandeville and Montego Bay Diocese apostolic administrator Neil Tiedemann.
Reverend Charles Dufour, archbishop of Kingston and project founder, said he is playing his part behind the scenes to ensure the clinic's timely completion.
"A lot of work is happening behind the scenes, and I've told Good Shepherd Foundation's chairwoman, Jeanne Foster-Robinson, that a lot is being done. So what we need is your prayers and collaboration," he told board directors.
"Basically, we're running a ministry, not a business, so nobody will be turned back on account of lack of funds. We are working for humanity, not for tags. As long as you're a human being and you need help, then we are there, ready and willing to help."
The Hope Health Clinic currently operates out of a facility in Albion, St James, and provides health care to Montegonians and other patients from as far away as Westmoreland, Manchester and Kingston.
The new medical facility is being constructed on the grounds of the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral as part of Hope Health's efforts to improve access to health care in Montego Bay and surrounding communities.
The new facility will house an eye-care wing, a dental office, a general medical area, a small chapel, a canteen, and nine bedroom units on the first floor, all to be built within at least three or four phases.
"We implore you, the public, to please help us make this medical centre a reality. Join hands with us. Let us put up this medical centre to the glory of God and the use of all Jamaicans and all who visit our shores," said Foster-Robinson.
To date, some US$600,000 (J$52.6 million) has already been collected through public donations and fund-raisers, and assistance from friends of the Good Shepherd Foundation locally and abroad.