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Minister outlines plans for new West End health clinic

West End residents could have a new health clinic on their doorstep within two years.

At a press conference yesterday, Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, revealed that $700,000 of the ministry’s budget this year had been set aside to renovate a health department facility at Mangrove Bay in Sandys.

Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, held a press conference on the 2023-24 Budget (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The cash will be used to obtain a building permit, commission planning drawings and put the contract out to tender.

She said: “This facility will provide high-quality healthcare services for the community in the island’s West End. The preparation will be undertaken in 2023-24 so that construction can begin in early 2024-25 as a building permit is obtained and a contractor selected and confirmed through the official tendering processes.”

The clinic will provide a range of health services, including child immunisation and check-ups, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech services, sexual and reproductive health services, adult wellness clinics and mental health services.

Ms Wilson said: “We already have a facility in the Mangrove Bay area. Regrettably, several years ago it became uninhabitable because of asbestos and the like.“

She added that funding to upgrade the building had not been available until now.

Ms Wilson was asked if the Government would have the resources to keep the clinic up and running — the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre in the East End has repeatedly had to reduce opening hours and services because of staff shortages.

Ms Wilson pointed out that nurses were much in demand globally, but that she was confident that more healthcare staff could be attracted to the island by the time the clinic opened.

She said: “Worldwide there are shortages of medical staff, and in particular nursing, and we’re working through BHB and the Department of Immigration to try to secure more resources for staffing and nurses.”

“We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to provide sufficient resources but at the end of the day just like persons in the East End are able to access a clinic that is within their geographical region, certainly persons in Somerset and the West End will appreciate that initiative.

“If you live in the West End you’ll probably appreciate the need for a clinic in that locality to service people in Southampton and further west.”

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Published February 23, 2023 at 7:38 am (Updated February 23, 2023 at 9:10 am)

Minister outlines plans for new West End health clinic

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