Southern US Diaspora Group Adopts Port Antonio Health Centre

Dr. Christopher Tufton

The Port Antonio Health Centre is the latest primary health care facility to benefit under the Minister of Health and Wellness’ Adopt-a- Clinic programme.

The Southern United States (US) Diaspora group has pledged over $3 million to support some of the critical needs of the facility, as part of efforts to enhance the delivery of health care.

Portfolio Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, said that the funds will “go a far way” in dealing with minor repairs and maintenance.

He was speaking at the formal adoption ceremony held at the clinic in Portland on Friday (July 31).

The Adopt-A-Clinic programme, which was initiated over three years ago, is a strategic plan by the Government that seeks to leverage the philanthropic support of Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora to improve health care delivery at the community level.

“The programme is intended to recognise the importance of primary healthcare and to bolster the effectiveness of the service that is offered, so that we can continue to keep our communities safe,” Dr. Tufton noted.

He said that 29 health centres across the island have been adopted to date with over $80 million contributed.

He noted that Jamaicans abroad have embraced the programme as a way to give back to their homeland.

“In the Diaspora, our Jamaicans are always looking back and trying to find a way to contribute and we have provided them with an avenue,” he said.

Regional Technical Director in the Health Ministry, Dr. Patrick Wheatle, commended the Diaspora group for the support, noting that the funds provided will help in the provision of quality health care for the people of the parish.

Jamaica’s Consul General to Miami, Florida, Oliver Mair, who represented the Southern United States Diaspora group, said the adoption of the Port Antonio Health Centre is another tangible demonstration of the love overseas nationals have for their home country.

Member of Parliament for Eastern Portland, Ann-Marie Vaz, also welcomed the support, noting that “through this partnership, I am confident that challenges will be overcome and the health centre will continue to provide top class health care services.”

Primary healthcare in Jamaica is delivered through a network of over 320 community health centres across the 14 parishes.

Over the past six years, Jamaica has invested $1.5 billion on the refurbishing and equipping of 150 of these facilities.