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Almost there

Government officials during today’s tour.

Residents of St. John should soon be able to access a range of services in comfort when the polyclinic opens early next year.

Minister of Health Donville Inniss told the media this morning that the cost of the multi-purpose “state of the art” facility was $19.3 million, inclusive of equipment, and noted that once it becomes operational it would ease the pressure on other polyclinics.

“We’re very appreciative of the quantity and quality of work done on this facility to date. I think we can stop referring to it is a polyclinic and really as a multi purpose community facility. Whilst health care is the anchor here, we’re happy that we are able to house other key departments of Government that serve the residents of St. John and surrounding areas,” he said.

Inniss reiterated that the project was “an integral part of the Ministry of Health’s attempt to reform the public health care system and to ensure that health care, particularly at the primary level, remains accessible to all Barbadians”.

The primary health care services being offered include mental health, physiotherapy, family planning, an asthma bay, an x-ray/ultrasound department, pharmacy services, post and ante-natal care, and as part of the plan to decentralise health care, demonstration rooms, an ambulance bay for the vehicle which will be stationed at the facility.

There will also be a gym, Welfare Department office, an office for the Constituency Council, play park, library and an amphitheatre.

MP for the constituency, Mara Thompson, joined a team of officials from the Ministry of Health, including Permanent Secretary Ron Fitt, the Ministry of Family, lead by Minister Stephen Lashley and Permanent Secretary Ernesta Drakes and Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary Tennyson Springer, on a tour of the 27,000 square foot multi-purpose facility.

Inniss said that significant remedial works had to be undertaken on the building, pushing costs over the original estimated budget of $16.4 million.

“Once the contractors started work they recognised the extent of the remedial work that had to be done, plus there was some additional work that we have asked to be done since then,” he said.

He noted he was satisfied that the $19.3 million being spent on construction and the purchase of equipment for the facility was “money well spent that would certainly redound to the benefit of not just St. John but to the entire country as we upgrade our primary health care services”.

To date $12.4 million has been spent on the project, which is being undertaken primarily by main contractors are ADC Building and Maintenance. (DS)

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