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Missionaries of the Poor opens new clinic downtown

Published:Friday | April 16, 2010 | 12:00 AM

A new health clinic has been opened in downtown Kingston to cater to the needs of inner-city residents.

The building, situated at the corner of High Holborn and East Queen streets, once housed a similar facility. It was donated to the charity group, Missionaries of the Poor, and was subsequently renovated by the brothers into a new clinic.

Brother Barry John Paul said funding for the renovation was made possible by both the German and Canadian embassies. He said the clinic, which was officially opened on Tuesday, would be opened to the public every Thursday at no charge.

Brother John Paul, a registered nurse from the Philippines who is licensed to work in Jamaica, also explained that the facility would be staffed by volunteer doctors from the University Hospital of the West Indies, the Kingston Public Hospital and private medical practitioners.

"We will only have general practitioners at first but, after things pick up, we are planning on having specialists," he said. He added that there were also plans to transfer the organisation's dental clinic from Bethlehem Home, High Holborn Street to the new facility.


The facility houses three consultation rooms, a prayer room and a small chapel which will be used for counselling and for patients who wish to pray while waiting to see the doctor.

There is also a doctors' lounge, a registration area and seven bathrooms.

"This clinic will be catering mostly to (individuals) from the (surrounding) neighbourhood. They can come for their blood pressure checks, blood sugar tests or anything," Brother John Paul said.

He said the need was great and that his organisation was expecting a high user turnout, adding that more than 90 people had already registered to see the doctor as of next week.

Brother John Paul noted that the facility was to be run solely on volunteerism and the donations of doctors, various distributors of medical supplies and pharmacies.

"We get our medication from distributors and pharmacies that are willing to help out," he said.