(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – The Sod Turning Ceremony for the construction of the Dennery Polyclinic took place on Thursday March 8th. Bois Jolie in Dennery is the site chosen for the new polyclinic which promises many more services than what current obtains at the Dennery Hospital.
The Department of Economic Development, Transport and Civil Aviation held a Sod Turning Ceremony for the Dennery Polyclinic following a long period of preparatory works which included site identification and preparation, detailed architectural designs and a protracted international bidding and procurement process. Project Coordinator Cheryl Mathurin said the construction of this polyclinic is in keeping with government’s thrust to improve healthcare service in the country.
“Therefore this health facility is a priority to the government and to the people of Dennery Village, Dennery Valley, La Resource, Richfond and its environs. Taking this into consideration the PCU will ensure that the works are completed within the agreed period of 18 months.”
The polyclinic will cost over EC $ 5 million and forms part of the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project, funded by the World Bank. Minister for Health and Wellness Sen. Hon. Mary Isaac assured residents of Dennery that the new polyclinic is in a better location.
“I know that many people in Dennery they are very familiar with the Dennery Hospital and I know it is in a beautiful location but I think it has outlived that location. I believe that the community has grown and this here will be a better location for your polyclinic.”
The Minister also highlighted the many other services the new polyclinic will offer including, Physiotherapy, ultrasound and x-ray services, lab and dental services, obstetrics, dermatology, pediatrics and ophthalmology services, mental health services, urgent care, specialized services for the Bordelais Correctional Facility, Environmental Health Services and Social Services.
“So you are going to have an all in one facility where you do not have to leave Dennery and people in the environs as well, to go down to Victoria Hospital or St. Jude. So the new polyclinic is going to take off some pressure from those other two hospitals.”
Meanwhile District representative for Dennery South, Hon. Edmund Estephane acknowledged the importance of the polyclinic to his constituency.
“What we are actually doing is insisting and demonstrating that access to healthcare is a human right. Improving the physical plant as we are about to do today in Dennery. We are enhancing the management of the health care services while improving the conditions under which the sick are treated. We are empowering people through the establishment of regional health teams and a community health structure. We recognize and give meaning to the role of primary healthcare as the foundation of personal and community health. This is what we are doing but all some people will see is this beautiful building on the hill.”
Minister for Economic Development, Transport and Civil Aviation, Hon. Guy Joseph stated that after Hurricane Thomas in 2010 government initiated a series of discussions with the World Bank to arrive at solutions to build resilience for the future and set the country on a path for growth and development thus the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP) was borne. He outlined the next project to be funded under the DVRP.
“I’ve tried to reset the agenda on a number of areas. So I saw only a design for the Soufriere Hospital being proposed under DVRP while we were trying to do other things with the DVRP money. And since I came in, for a government they say that’s not focused on the health and wellbeing of the people, I have asked that EC $10 million that we would spend elsewhere must be spent on the Soufriere Hospital so that not only would be have a polyclinic in Dennery but we will have a proper hospital in Soufriere to meet the health needs of the people of Soufriere.”
The contract for the Dennery Polyclinic was awarded to Ricardo Phillippe Valbon of Grayvis-Eurl out of Martinique. Works will be lead by local contractor Collins Lynch.