Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
THE VARIOUS departments and agencies that form part of the Ministry of Health were yesterday forced to relocate from their building located at Oceana Complex on King Street in downtown Kingston to facilitate repairs. The order for the more than 400 workers to vacate the building came from their very own Public Health Department.
The facility was closed yesterday with Operation Clean Air slated to commence on Monday and it is expected to last for 10-14 days, allowing the workers to return to the premises on January 1, 2014.
The Public Health Department identified a number of problems that led to the closure, including poor air quality, leaks, mould growth, and an air-conditioning system in need of cleaning.
Director of communications in the health ministry, Neville Graham, conceded that the temporary relocation would be very inconvenient, but said the ministry was committed to continue servicing the needs of the people.
"The Ministry of Health is guided by Government's Business Continuity Plan so, accordingly, contingency measures are in place and alternate accommodation has been identified," Graham told The Gleaner.
"Some officers will work from the alternate sites and others will telecommute. Everything is being done to ensure that the core functions of the ministry's corporate offices are not adversely affected."
The Pesticides Control Authority (PCA) and the Standards and Regulations Departments of the ministry will be housed at the Jamaica Conference Centre.
"We have identified somewhere to move to temporarily and we will scale down the number of staff members who will be there, but we will continue operating during the time," registrar of the PCA, Michael Ramsay, informed. "It will be somewhat inconvenient, but the good part is that we are going to relocate at a time around Christmas when things are normally slow. But I am sure it will present some difficulties to the persons who want to access our services."