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JAMAICA OBSERVER — Three Angels Pharmacy’s proprietor Rohan McNellie has a “privileged front row seat” when it comes to medical issues.
He knows of many people walking around not knowing their health status and some who are reluctant to seek medical attention even if they are aware.
“I have been to many funerals; I have been to many bedsides in the hospital. I have seen people lose limbs who never had to; I have seen people with stroke who never had to. The multiplier effect on family members and the cost, it’s overwhelming,” he said.
McNellie was speaking at the recent launch of his organisation’s mobile clinic initiative at the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventist in Mandeville.
His experiences motivated a dream dating back to 2007 to provide free medical check-ups, treatment, and more importantly, help residents of Mandeville to develop a more health-conscious, preventative approach in order to combat the increase in lifestyle diseases.
In 2015, he told the Jamaica Observer Central following the 10th anniversary celebrations of the company that his immediate plan was to build the social component of the business. McNellie said then that a recreational vehicle to be transformed into a mobile clinic to dispense social services had been acquired.
The vehicle is now fitted with the features and furniture of a doctor’s office. Included are a waiting area, bathroom, kitchenette and free Wi-Fi to enhance the offering.
McNellie said that health checks for hypertension, cholesterol and diabetes, will be targetted but that he is open to adding other services as the need arises.
McNellie said that the vehicle for the mobile clinic came at a cost of approximately $6 million of his own funds and he intends to sustain the services mostly with the contributions of sponsors and volunteers.
“I want (to get others on board with) the spirit of volunteerism. I want it to be like a humanitarian effort,” he said.
McNellie said that while the initiative was conceived in Manchester, where he operates his business, he wants it to spread to other parishes.
Even as he is still processing the logistics of the routines and services of the mobile clinic, which will be free, he said that being present at community events to provide check-ups, give medication where necessary, provide public education and using it as an emergency response vehicle during disasters are ways that it will prove useful.
Chief Executive Officer of the Andrews Memorial Hospital and guest speaker at the launch, Dr Marvin Rouhotas, lauded the project.
Rouhotas used the occasion to call on the Government to make it a less tedious process at points-of-entry for people and organisations who want to give support to the healthcare system.