Preventative Health Care Saves Money
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
April 21, 2013 (SKNIS)
Meeting the needs of the residents of Old Road and the surrounding community, particularly in the area of health, was one of the key reasons that led to the construction of the new Old Road Health Centre.
St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas at the opening of the new health facility late last week noted that his administration is “always attempting to identify and pursue additional ways to meet the needs of the people we serve.”
Prime Minister Douglas further stressed the importance of community health service in Old Road.
“The Old Road Health Centre “¦ is the result of this line of thinking [service to the community] because from the moment that we first assumed office, we began a programme of expanding the number of health centres throughout this country,” Prime Minister Douglas emphasized. “And if not expanding at least improving those which needed infrastructural development and support and we have been doing this because we believe and because we know that if there is only one government service that should be available with maximum convenience and ease ““ it is healthcare.”
Similarly, Constituency Representative for the Area Hon. Glenn Phillip stated that the efforts of the Ministry of Health should not be taken for granted considering the improvements to health services over the years.
“Today, St. Kitts and Nevis boasts of a life expectancy of men of 72 years and women 76 years and with greater intervention we can ensure that however long our people live they lead healthier lifestyles,” Minister Phillip noted. “It is for this reason that I endorse the pursuits of the Ministry of Health to deliver essential health care that is base on practical, scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technologies. Healthcare that is universally accessible to all in the community through their full participation.”
Elvin Bailey, Assistant Director of Public Relations at the Social Security Board revealed that annually The St. Kitts Social Security Board sets aside US$100,000 to contribute to the health sector. He outlined that donations toward the Old Road Health Centre included the furniture, the signage and the sliding gate. The Assistant Director of Public Relations explained why the Board continuously donates to Health.
“See at Social Security we believe in healthy persons because healthy persons pay us,” Mr. Bailey stated. “We have to pay you when you lose your health and end up being sick.
“And it is of concern to us that we are paying in the region of 6 million dollars per year in sick leave. And so anything that we can do to reduce that cost ““ to maintain the health of our citizens ““ we are quite willing to do so.”
Osbert DeSuza, Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) Project Manager noted that BNTF forms part of the Ministry of Social and Community Development and is a poverty alleviation programme. He explained the process undertaken for the pre-construction and construction of the Old Road Health Centre noting that it had a contract price of $811,000 and was erected by Clinton Sillidy of Cajel’s Construction Firm. The BNTF Project Manager outlined that the building consisted of two exam rooms, a dressing room, Doctor’s Office, a store room, utility room, a large waiting area, a receptionist area, general restroom facilities and a kitchenette.