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Lamb Foggo Urgent Care centre survives for another year

The future of a closure-threatened urgent care centre in the east of the Island has been guaranteed for a year.

Health Minister Trevor Moniz told MPs the Lamb Foggo clinic in St David's would stay open until “at least March 2015.”

Mr Moniz said: “This will allow the Government, and the board, to fully consider the options.”

“It will also serve to take some of the pressure off of the emergency department at the King Edward.

“Emergency will be moving from its current location to the new acute care wing in September and having the UCC continue to provide services will reduce the amount of traffic in the new emergency department as well as providing additional capacity to the system.”

It was announced last year that the loss-making clinic was to close — sparking a march on Parliament to save the centre.

Mr Moniz said that three different groups had expressed an interest in taking over the building — but that no bid had materialised.

Opposition MP Lovitta Foggo, whose seat is in St David's, asked if the previously-closed diagnostic centre at the clinic could be reopened to provide more revenue.

Moniz replied: “My information is that it was totally untenable financially — it just didn't work.”

Mr Moniz added: “Unfortunately, despite the publicity that was generated by the announcement that the urgent care centre would be closing, utilisation of that facility has not changed.

“In fact some months it has gone down. Typically, the UCC has seen an average of 14 people per shift, but this number has dropped to 10 to 12 visitors per shift, at times.” Mr Moniz added that Department of Health public clinics held in a small and elderly building in St George's could also be relocated.

He said: “While the Department of Health clinics would not provide urgent care services, their regular clinics could operate in a facility that is newer and much more modern than their current locations.

“The Lamb Foggo facility may also allow the department to expand some of its offerings and to use the St George's facility for other purposes.”

He told MPs Government wanted to improve healthcare in both the east and the west of the Island and that the Ministry had looked at basing ambulances in the fire stations at both ends of the Island to boost emergency response times.”

Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Center (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published March 24, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated March 24, 2014 at 11:47 am)

Lamb Foggo Urgent Care centre survives for another year

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