Current renovations at the Maurice Byer Polyclinic in Station Hill. St. Peter, led to staff concerns about the environmental state of the site, and a work stoppage by nurses today; however, solutions for these problems are already under way.

This was stressed by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Tennyson Springer, who disclosed that some of the issues had been resolved following meetings with clinic officials and nurses, this morning.?? He said that although the clinic would be closed for the rest of the day to facilitate cleaning, regular work hours would be observed for the remainder of the week.

"We work every weekend in an attempt to renovate the polyclinic while we try to continue to give services to the people in the North. This morning, there was excessive dust in a number of areas and [some of the] nurses started to not feel very well …We met with them and we have agreed that work will continue on the weekend and every Monday, we will start clinics at 10:00 a.m. rather than at 8:00 a.m., while we bring in a crew to do the cleaning [from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m.] to ensure that the environment is safe for work to commence," he said, with normal work hours – 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – in effect for the remainder of the week.

In addition to these changes, PS Springer observed that "…we have put some other measures in place – we are going to put a container on site to store some of the excessive things…that are not in use at this time…and we will try to expedite the installation of some air condition units that we had earmarked for the weekend…We will have them in place before the end of the week."

Noting that this was the first time complaints had reached him, Mr. Springer pointed out that the project, which began last August, posed some challenges.?? He explained that: "there’s a significant difficulty in continuing to do work in an environment like this while we continue to give services…There is really nowhere in this St. Peter/Speightstown area which can accommodate this clinic, as big as it

is…we will aspire to finish the ground floor which is where the patient care areas are by the end of July.?? We expect that the project itself will conclude by the end of September."

Lauding the selflessness of the nurses and staff who have operated at the clinic despite the ongoing challenges, Mr. Springer pledged his continued support to providing a better environment for both workers and the public.

Renovations at the Polyclinic include a new roof, awning and conference room, as well as painting, cupboard installations and other general refurbishments.

With next Monday to be observed as Whit Monday, the next working day, Tuesday, will see the Polyclinic open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


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