Montego Bay stadium to temporarily house Catherine Hall Health Clinic
The Catherine Hall Stadium in Montego Bay will be shedding its current white elephant status to support a worthy cause, as it has been commissioned into service to temporarily house the Catherine Hall Health Centre, which will be taken out of service to facilitate upgrading and rehabilitation work.
The decision to use the stadium to house the health centre was made by the St James Municipal Corporation (StJMC), which was acting on a request from the St James Public Health Department. In a media release, Montego Bay’s Mayor Leeroy Williams, who is also the chairman of the StJMC, said the corporation was happy to meet the request.
“We have a long-standing relationship with the St James Public Health Department and, therefore, we did not hesitate when the request was made. It makes logistical sense to house the clinic at the stadium, which is still in proximity to the community of those it serves most,” said Williams.
The fact that the stadium has more than adequate space to house the clinic is particularly pleasing to Williams as it offers the scope for social distancing, which is critical in ensuring that persons who visit the facility will be able to follow the prescribed COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
“The impact of COVID-19 on our communities is debilitating. Anything that we can do to assist the health department must be done as we continue working with the community in developing practical solutions,” said Williams.
According to a release from the StJMC, members of staff have already commenced preliminary logistics planning in preparing the section of the stadium’s grandstand, which will house the clinic.
The decision by the StJMC to allow the use of the stadium, which is awaiting repairs to its badly damaged synthetic track to return to sporting use, to the health department has been met with approval by Lennox Wallace, the acting parish manager of the Public Health Department, who hopes to see the facility up and running within a few days.
“The Public Health Department is really grateful for the partnership with the St James Municipal Corporation, which, over the past 27 years, has always sought to work closely with us to facilitate and maintain public health in the parish. Likewise, they did not hesitate to provide the necessary assistance and granting us space at the stadium,” said Wallace.
Based on the timetable being used by the StJMC, the relocation from the clinic to the stadium should be completed by the end of December 2020. The expansion and rehabilitation work at the clinic, which will be done by the National Health Fund, is expected to be completed within two months so that the clinic will be ready for reoccupation in March. The scope of work includes the addition of new medical offices, a new waiting area, and the installation of generator plants.