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Elroy Phillips Centre closing

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Elroy Phillips Centre closing

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The Elroy Phillips Centre will close at month-end.      
The Ministry of Health made this announcement yesterday regarding the ten-bed facility, which at present houses seven HIV positive clients, who were previously homeless and resided at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.             
Minister of Health Donville Inniss, however, has assured the public that the Ministry had made arrangements for clients to be housed within the community, with Government’s continued support.  Staff at the Centre will be appropriately re-assigned in the public service.
“Cabinet has taken the decision to close the Centre effective March 31, as part of the Ministry of Health’s policy of moving from residential care to community living,” he disclosed.
The Minister explained: “We have also seen a significant reduction in persons being evicted from their homes and being abandoned by their relatives because of their HIV status. We believe that this is not only as a result of Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART), but access to comprehensive psycho-social care and support services for persons living with HIV and their relatives.”
The Elroy Phillips Centre was officially opened by the Government of Barbados on July 7, 1995.  It is staffed with a supervisor, an assistant supervisor, eight health aides, one general worker, four security guards and a weekend night watchman.  The annual operational cost of the Centre is some $1.4 million.