Tufton Breaks Ground for Expansion of Kitson Town Health Centre
Member of Parliament for West Central St. Catherine, Dr. Chris Tufton yesterday (Wednesday) broke ground for the much needed expansion of the Kitson Town Health Center. Senior Public Health Nurse of the St. Catherine Health Services Mrs. Marlene Stephenson, who facilitated the day’s event, recalled that a little over 10 months ago Dr. Tufton had promised residents of Kitson Town that their Health Centre would see an expansion. Mrs. Stephenson acknowledged and thanked Dr. Tufton for upholding this commitment and seeing his then pledge through to commencement.
The six-month expansion which will cost JMD$≤38.5M will be financed and managed by the National Health Fund. Chief Executive Officer for the National Health Fund Everton Anderson commended the Kitson Town Health Centre for not only serving more than 1,000 residents each month, but also for maintaining an average waiting time of 45 minutes per patient.
Ms. Maureen Golding, the Regional Director of the South East Regional Health Authority, noted population growth in St. Catherine as one of the highest for parishes across the island, placing an even greater demand on the parish’s health services. She added that through its expansion, the Kitson Town Health Centre will be well suited to be the first point for non-emergency health services for residents of 19 surrounding communities.
The expansion will also undoubtedly alleviate the Spanish Town Hospital, being the nearest hospital for local residents, of some of this growing pressure, although Dr. Tufton also announced that the Spanish Town hospital would also be seeing renovation as early as next year.
Addressing the attendees, Dr. Tufton highlighted that he wanted to leave a legacy of having prioritized community development, and ensure that he balances long-term prospects with short-term pressures. “I want to emphasize the importance of improving the critical infrastructure that would enhance human development, such as that of the health sector. This clinic is a physical representation of the overarching emphasis being placed on primary health care. I also want to urge the residents of Kitson Town and surrounding communities to make use of the facility and ensure you do your medical checkups at least once per year.” Tufton said.
The health centre will accommodate an in-house doctor three days per week as well as a dentist, a pharmacy department, and other services provided by level 2 health centres, such as maternal care.
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