Wed | Jun 29, 2022

Health infrastructure in St Thomas to be improved

Published:Tuesday | May 17, 2022 | 9:24 AM
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, addressing an adoption ceremony for the Yallahs Health Centre in St. Thomas on May 13, 2022. - Contributed photo.

Health infrastructure within St Thomas is to be improved to meet the growing demands of the parish, says Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton.

Tufton argued that with the ongoing development in the parish, there is likely to be an influx of residents and the infrastructure will have to be upgraded, in alignment with the development.

“When signs of progress are very evident, many things will follow,” he said, pointing out that once access is provided, there is likely to be mass migration into the parish.

“It means that you are going to see greater demand on your critical infrastructure, healthcare being key, because once you develop, people are going to come, so you're going to have to be prepared to host other residents who want to settle in St Thomas,” the health minister added.

He was speaking at a ceremony for the adoption of the Yallahs Health Centre by the D. Terrence Foster Foundation last Friday.

Tufton said that when people can access the amenities of shopping, housing and roads that will come with the development of the parish, they will want to live there, adding that “it is just a stone's throw away from Kingston, which is kind of crowded”.

This, he explained, will in turn create a greater demand on the health infrastructure of the parish, “so one of the things that we have been doing and will continue to do in the parish of St. Thomas is to assess where we are, where we're likely to go over the next five to 10 years and identify the key requirements”.

The health minister pointed out that there was an ongoing review looking at the population centres to determine the requirements for health centres, adding that the lone secondary-care facility in the parish, the Princess Margaret Hospital, has benefited from a substantial overhaul over the past few years and now has the capacity to accommodate more demands.

Tufton noted that the Yallahs Health Centre, which handles approximately 25,000 visits per year, requires a significant assessment in keeping with the development.

He argued that with the population centre expanding and access improving, there would be a development plan for the Yallahs Health Centre, which would mean the expansion of the facility.

The D. Terrence Foster Foundation has committed a sum of $3 million over the next three years in the Government's Adopt-a-Clinic Programme.

- JIS News

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.