Ground was broken and the contract signed on Wednesday for construction of the Dr Kenneth Baugh Health Centre in the rural community of Point Hill in West Central St Catherine.
Approximately $28 million is being provided by the National Health Fund (NHF) for the project.
The 1,453-square-foot single-storey building will include a registry for record-keeping, an immunisation area, antenatal and postnatal facility, a lunchroom, dressing room, dental services and a doctor’s office.
The Point Hill Health Centre is being demolished to accommodate the new facility, which is in honour of the late former deputy prime minister, member of parliament (MP) and medical surgeon.
The Type Three health centre has been operating from the Point Hill Community Centre for some time, as the building had become deteriorated.
Ministry of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton, in his remarks at the groundbreaking, said that the project is a fitting tribute to the late former MP, who was always concerned about the health and welfare of the residents in the constituency.
NHF Chief Executive Officer Everton Anderson, for his part, said the project “is another sign of development for the health sector and a further step in improving the infrastructure for the delivery of health services throughout Jamaica, as we raise the level of care provided in communities”.
He added that renaming the health centre after Dr Baugh is one way the nation gives back to a stalwart medical practitioner, who was determined to assist the hundreds of people living in West Central St Catherine.
“I remember him as being so diplomatic, so calm in his disposition. Every time I encountered him, it was a pleasure speaking to him,” he said.
He noted that the NHF has done the design and will help to manage the project. Meanwhile, health practitioners at the Point Hill Health Centre are welcoming the construction of the new building.
“I’m very happy about this new initiative,” said registered midwife, Sharon Babbitt Edwards.
“The people of Point Hill have been hoping for improved services, and we’re happy and we’re looking forward to the new facility,” she added.