Use health centres more - Robinson
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Shahine Robinson is appealing to residents of St Ann to make greater use of the community health centres in order to reduce overcrowding at hospitals.
She noted that the clinics provide quality care, and doctors at the facilities will refer persons to a hospital for advanced treatment if needed.
Robinson was addressing the opening of three patient waiting areas at the St Ann's Bay Health Centre recently.
The waiting areas were provided as part of the Ministry of Health's drive to reduce the waiting time for patients at health facilities.
She noted that funding has been provided to the regional health authorities to implement the necessary measures to achieve this goal and to provide the best care possible.
Robinson said there were similar openings of additional facilities in Port Maria, St Mary, and also Cascade in Portland.
Robinson, who is also the member of parliament for North East St Ann, noted that "the medical personnel at the clinics are well trained to make the determination as to whether a patient would be better served going to the hospital and should be trusted to exercise that judgment".
Chairman of the North East Regional Health Authority Tyrone Robinson said that the provision of the additional spaces at the health centre will enable the facility to treat more patients.
He pointed out that the St Ann's Bay Hospital treats in excess of 3,000 patients at its accident and emergency outpatient department, many of whom could be cared for at the health centre in a shorter period.