A total of one hundred and thirteen million dollars ($113m) was spent on the completion of phases 1 and 2 of the Santa Cruz Centre of Excellence in St. Elizabeth under the Primary Health Care Infrastructure Renewal Programme. $25M was spent on phase 1 and $88 million on the just completed phase 2 of the project.
During the official opening ceremony held on Friday March 13, 2015, Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson stated that the Ministry of Health is implementing several changes which are expected to result in a paradigm shift for primary health care services in Jamaica.
Dr. Ferguson said, “we want to make primary care more attractive to our citizens so that they can better utilize their community health centres. This will not only result in a reduction in crowding of hospitals but also address the fundamental needs of individuals towards reducing the country’s prevalence of non-communicable diseases.”
“In addition to the changes in the primary health care system and the development of the Centres of Excellence, secondary care facilities will be able to focus on the more intensive levels of care required such as emergencies”, Dr. Ferguson added.
Phase 2 of the Santa Cruz Centre of Excellence was completed with funding from the National Health Fund and includes infrastructure work and equipment.
The improved offerings of the Centre of Excellence will include dental health, diagnostic and ultra sound services, maternal and child health, sickle cell testing, blood chemistry, cholesterol and blood count services and glucose testing. In addition to these services, the Centre of Excellence will offer curative services daily.