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BHB cuts East End clinic’s operating hours

The Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre in St George’s has seen its services cut back.

The Bermuda Hospitals Board described the reduction as part of “ongoing cost-containment measures”.

The clinic will no longer offer a weekday walk-in service from 8am to 4pm according to a BHB spokeswoman only about ten people took advantage of it each day.

Diagnostic technicians who had been working during those hours will be redeployed to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

The East End clinic will now operate on public holidays and between noon and midnight on weekends. Weekday service will be limited to between 4pm and midnight.

“This means the urgent care service will continue to be staffed by a physician, nurses and diagnostic technicians from 4pm to midnight in the week and on public holidays, and from noon to midnight on weekends,” the spokeswoman explained.

“This service is used by in excess of 5,000 people per year. The walk-in daytime service was between 8am and 4pm and provided a diagnostic service only for people who had doctor referrals for X-ray, ultrasound or lab (blood and urine) tests.

“The facility will continue to open and deliver medical services to the East End when the Causeway closes, for example during hurricanes. It will also continue to be available as a disaster hub in the event of a major event in the East End.”

Added BHB CEO and President Venetta Symonds: “The urgent care centre provides a useful service in the evenings, weekends and public holidays for people with minor injuries and illnesses who cannot wait for their primary care physician’s office to open. This out-of-hours service is well utilised, and figures show that it has reduced some of the pressure experienced in the hospital’s Emergency Department.”

But the small numbers of people using daytime services weren’t enough to support it, she said.

“In the current environment it is simply not cost-effective for Bermuda at a time when we are seeking ways to be more efficient and control the costs of healthcare for the Island.”

Government originally planned for a similar Urgent Care Centre to be built at the West End as well, but the Lamb Foggo facility took priority.

Yesterday a Ministry of Health spokeswoman said: “At this time, there is no development planned for, or any funding allocated to, the development of a West End Urgent Care Centre.

“However, it is our goal to provide optimum healthcare for all of Bermuda’s residents, so we are continuously evaluating our options — bearing in mind utilisation and cost to the system.”

Cutbacks: Operating hours at Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre have been cut back.

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Published April 02, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 02, 2013 at 12:11 am)

BHB cuts East End clinic’s operating hours

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