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St John Clinic by October

Carlos Atwell

St John Clinic by October

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BY OCTOBER 2012, the St John Polyclinic should be fully operational.
Minister of Health Donville Inniss, after a tour of the construction site in Glebe Land, St John, yesterday, said both the physical construction and equipment should be ready by that time.
“This is my first opportunity to tour the St John Polyclinic since work resumed on it a few months ago. I am extremely impressed by both the quantity and quality of work that has gone on thus far.
“With the current trajectory, it is expected to be handed over to the Ministry of Health by September next year. [Our] officers have started the process of identifying equipment needed for this facility . . . the list is near completion and we will shortly be seeking some costing so that the polyclinic will be functioning, I expect, by October next year,” he said.
The overall budget for the refurbishment project is $16 million. Inniss said so far $4.6 million had been spent since 2008. Cost overruns would not be a concern, he added.
 “We don’t expect significant changes to the overall budget, but if we recognize that a few dollars have to be spent due to additional work we will do it, but we are confident our architects and contractors are working with us to ensure this project comes in on time and as close as possible within budget,” he said.
Inniss also said it was time some medical services were pulled away from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and moved into the communities.
“Barbados’ health care system has been built around a collection of polyclinics . . . but where we have fallen down over the years, to my mind, we found more and more pressure being applied to the hospital where it became centralized and we found it was providing more and more of the primary care. We now have to educate Barbadians to the range of services in the primary care system [polyclinics],” he said.
Inniss said the 27 000 square foot building was located on three acres of land and would provide more than medical services. There will be an amphitheatre, library, gym, office for the constituency council and a play park.
It will be a “round-the- clock” facility, open day and night, Inniss said.