IN response to the demand for extensive healthcare services in the community of Blueberry Hill, Wismar, Linden, and its environs, the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice) will be constructing a $16 million health centre.
Officials of the RDC held a simple sod-turning exercise over the weekend to signal the commencement of this project.
According to Regional Chairman of the Region 10 RDC, Deron Adams, the project had been budgeted for by the previous council in 2019 to form part of their 2020 work programme, and the initial intention was to construct the facility within the compound of the Upper Demerara Hospital.
The project was, however, postponed because the previous regional administration saw the need to focus primarily on what was at that time, the emerging threat of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
As a result of this renewed focus, the funds for the health centre were put towards the upgrade of the Upper Demerara Hospital to tend to the needs of the region’s COVID-19 patients.
“The facility, at first, was supposed to be constructed in the compound of the Upper Demerara Hospital; however, after COVID-19 came in early 2020, the then council advised that the resources budgeted for the health centre would be diverted to upgrading the Upper Demerara Hospital,” Adams said.
He related that the council reintroduced the proposal for the project in the 2021 budget and suggested a new location for the health centre, which is adjacent to the Upper Demerara Hospital.
Upon approval of the submission, a contract was awarded to Simcon Engineering for the construction of the facility.
Adams said that the aim of the project is to provide patient-centered healthcare with excellence in quality, service and access at the regional health facilities across Region 10.
“We did a simple sod turning ceremony because we know that it is an important project that will bring relief and will speak to health services within the region,” the RDC Chairman said.
He added that the RDC is looking forward to the Blueberry Hill Health Centre being completed within the stipulated contract parameters and deadlines. Officials have since urged the contractor to ensure that the project is executed efficiently.