The project entailed expansion of floor space and waiting area; putting in additional patient rooms; roofing and tiling works; installation of a water storage facility; providing wheelchair access; and other general aesthetic improvements.
Speaking at the official reopening of the facility recently, Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, said the upgrading project is part of the Government’s overall thrust to improve primary healthcare delivery.
“We put priority on primary care because it is cheaper for people coming to primary care centres …we are of the view that when you have a health centre that is functioning properly within your district, you have great advantage over when you have to leave to go for secondary care miles away from your community,” he said.
Dr. Ferguson noted that with the upgrading, the health centre will now offer family planning, maternal and child health services.
“This will prevent you from going all the way to IB (Isaac Barrant Centre of Excellence) for some simple things and I look forward with great anticipation to the feedback coming from you,” he said.
In welcoming the upgrading works, resident of Rowlandsfield, Simone Hall, said she is grateful to have a facility that will accommodate children as well as elderly persons in her community.
“It will benefit everyone, especially the elderly persons and persons who cannot afford it to go to Hampton Court, so it is a very good gain for this community…It’s a very good initiative because Rowlandsfield has been portrayed out there as one of the best communities and this happening has put us up more for (recognition),” she said.
Public Relations Officer for the Rowlandsfield Community Development Committee (CDC), Clarence Thompson, said he was pleased with the work as the group had advocated for the upgrading of the centre.
“I am overwhelmed and I am so delighted to see that this is one of the visions for the Rowlandsfield CDC that came through and we are so grateful today to see this thing unfold before our eyes,” he noted.
For his part, President of the Rowlandsfield CDC, Winston McDonald, said with the refurbished “first class” facility, residents will no longer have to travel outside of the community for quality health care.
“It’s nice to see that people don’t have to travel all the way to Princess Margaret, so it takes some of the burden off some of the residents and neighbouring communities as well. So it’s a beautiful thing and for my community, it means a lot to us,” he said.
Registered Midwife and supervisor for the health districts in St. Thomas, Joan Thompson Panton, said the facility will make it easier for health workers to deliver quality care to clients.
“There are lots of new developments because the public health nurse now has her own office. Normally, we work from one place … now the records clerk has her own department and the community health aide (CHA) has her own department,” she informed.
The upgrading of the Rowlandsfield Health Centre was funded through the Sugar Transformation Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries with support from the European Union.
The health centre is a type one facility offering family planning, maternal and child health care services.