Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, has touted the refurbished St. Andrew Outpatient Clinic as being more than an improved facility for the people of that parish.
According to him, it “symbolises the overhaul” of the island’s health care sector. He expressed this view while delivering remarks at a ceremony to mark the official reopening of the clinic today.
“Why do I say that? Because this outpatient clinic is now moving into the digital age. We have outfitted this clinic with six computers; upgraded the telephone system…so that we’re now going to digitise the records and everything in relation to this outpatient clinic. You’ll be able to make appointments online because we now have the facility to be able to do that. That will improve a lot of things for the clients who utilise the services.”
Aside from infrastructural and technological upgrades, those who attend the facility at Belleplaine stand to benefit from improved operations.
Minister Bostic said it was the Ministry’s intention to offer upgraded services daily and have extended operating hours, similar to what has been planned for the St. Joseph Outpatient Clinic.
The Health Minister said he envisaged both clinics collaborating to become “centres of excellence for the delivery of non-communicable disease services in this country, and the promotion of wellness activities throughout the rural parts of Barbados”. And, he issued a charge to the medical personnel at these facilities to bring this vision to reality.
“If we can get the services in the communities sorted out properly and offered in a variety of ways, it would reduce the number of persons going to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and also reduce the cost of health care in this country and give people a better quality of life. So, we are very happy to have done this today, and it pleases my heart that it has finally been completed,” Lieutenant Colonel Bostic stated.
He also noted that the St. Thomas Outpatient Clinic was next in line for refurbishment, funds permitting.
The Health Minister said it was Government’s priority to improve access to health care for rural communities, adding that they intended to achieve this through having the aforementioned clinics fully operational, and the transformation of the David Thompson Health and Social Services Complex into a 24-hour facility.
He also thanked all of those who worked tirelessly to ensure the outpatient clinics in St. Andrew and St. Joseph were once again functional, after being closed for some time.
Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Cheryl Alleyne, expressed similar sentiments, noting that the refurbishment would allow people to access the quality of care they deserve.
She noted that aside from general services, care relating to mental and child health would be offered at the new facility.