??Acting Minister of Health, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, unveils a plague to re-open the St. Andrew’s Outpatients Clinic.?? Also pictured are Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Anton Best and Senior Medical Officer of Health (South), Dr. Elizabeth Ferdinard. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Residents of St. Andrew now have better access to health services with the re-opening of the St. Andrew’s Outpatients Clinic today following a $120,000 upgrade. It was closed in April, 2007 to facilitate repairs and will become fully operational from next week.

In her address at the re-opening ceremony, Acting Minister of Health, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, explained that the refurbishment was part of Government’s commitment to ensure that Barbadians received the best health care possible.

She noted that the upgrade of the facility included retaining the basic structure; improving the general ambience; de-bushing and adding marl to the surroundings as a safety measure.

The clinic has a dispensary, a doctor’s office, a nursing interviewing room, an examination room, an immunisation and dressing room, as well as a general waiting area.??

Senator Sandiford-Garner pointed out that during its closure, the residents had to use the facilities at the Maurice Byer and Warrens polyclinics, with the Ministry of Health, initially, offering transportation for persons to and from these facilities on clinic days to ensure the continuity of health care to residents.??

She said: "The St. Andrew’s Outpatients Clinic, which we are in today, was one of the four sub-centres constructed by the Ministry of Health to avail the people living in certain rural districts. This Clinic will cater to the public health care needs of persons by offering services which were restricted to antenatal and child care activities…"??

The clinic will be open on:?? Mondays and Wednesdays for the General Practice Clinic, every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month for the Child Health Clinic and on Mondays for the Mental Health Clinic. The dispensary service will be available on Clinic days.

During the 1970s, the Ministry of Health constructed four sub-centres in certain rural districts namely, St. John, St. Joseph, St. Thomas and St. Andrew.?? These four sub-centres are still operational today, and are supported by eight polyclinics which were established during the 1980s.

As part of the Millennium Development Goals, it is essential that primary health care-based systems are strengthened, especially for persons living in urban and rural corridors regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity, social status or religion.


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