THE health centre at Darliston, in Eastern Westmoreland, which has been upgraded to a Centre of Excellence, was officially opened last Friday by Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson.
This is the second Health Centre of Excellence to be opened to the public, the first being in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth, which was opened in November.
Two others, which are at varying stages of completion, are located at Claremont in St Ann, and in St Thomas.
Addressing the official opening ceremony, Minister Ferguson pointed out that the two remaining Centres of Excellence should be opened soon.
“We are working assiduously to complete Isacc Barrant [in St Thomas] within the first two months of 2014, and certainly for Claremont, we expect to complete it by the second quarter of 2014,” he said.
The minister noted that the development of Centres of Excellence marks the solid commitment of both the Government and the Ministry of Health to improve primary health care throughout the country.
He explained that with primary care being improved, the health of the people should also be enhanced.
Dr Ferguson pointed out that $25 million was spent to upgrade the centre in Phase one, and that two additional phases would be undertaken at a cost of $50 million. The project is being financed through the National Health Fund.
The upgrading work carried out included roof and ceiling repairs, covering of walkways, improved toilet facilities, expanded waiting area for the dental department, staff accommodation, fencing, and landscaping.
In addition, three office spaces were created for environmental health, while areas for maternal and child health services, four clinical areas, nurses station, waiting room, and immunisation storage rooms were set up.
“We will continue on this positive path by also ensuring that these centres are properly equipped, resourced and maintained,” the health minister emphasised.
The Darliston Health Centre of Excellence is the larger of two Type 3 health facilities in the Darliston/Bethel Town health district, and accounts for approximately 51 per cent of visits.