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Home  >  News
Opening of the New Chaguanas District Health Facility
Thursday, January 14, 2010

The New Chaguanas District Health Facility was formally opened on January 11th, 2010.  At the ceremony were Minister of Health, Senator the Honourable Jerry Narace, Parliamentary Secretary Wesley George, Her Worship the Mayor of Chaguanas Ms. Natasha Navas, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Sandra P. Jones, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anton Cumberbatch, CEO of the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) Mr. Ronald Tsoi-a-Fatt and Chairman of the North Central Regional Health Authority Mr. Howard Dottin.

In his address, the Minister of Health noted that this District Health Facility will bring an increased level of health care to the residents of the Chaguanas area and its environs.  He congratulated the NCRHA for successfully undertaking and completing this task.

The following are key points made by the Minister:

"Primary Health Care

The opening of yet another primary health care District Health Facility is … part of a conscious, orchestrated and carefully planned effort towards strengthening primary health care facilities in Trinidad and Tobago. The ultimate goal of primary health care is better health for all.

A primary health care approach is the most efficient, fair, and cost-effective way to organize a health system.  Primary health care produces better outcomes, at lower costs, and with higher user satisfaction.  Primary health care is people-centred care, which encompasses inclusive leadership.

How to use primary health care facilities

  • Primary health care is the first contact point a person should have with the health care system.

  • Primary health care centres focus on the prevention and treatment of common diseases and injuries; basic emergency services; general practice services; referrals to and coordination with other levels of health care, such as hospitals and specialist care; health promotion and maternal and paediatric health care.

  • Secondary and tertiary health care institutions, such as our hospitals, focus on major emergencies and higher end, complex needs, such as surgeries, and in-patient services under the care of a specialist.

  • Therefore, citizens in need of services, pertaining to:

    • Antenatal and postnatal care;

    • Cervical screening and Pap Smear;

    • Child Health;

    • Chronic Diseases;

    • Family planning;

    • General practice;

    • Substance abuse counselling and prevention;

    • School visits;

    • Psychiatry;
      as well as:

    • Medical social services

    • Dental services

    • Dressings

    • Pharmacy services, and

    • Certain lab services
      should seek them at the primary health care level in the first instance and only through referral at the secondary health care level.

Chaguanas District Health Facility (DHF)

  • [In addition to this DHF…] we will [also] be opening a second Primary Health Care Facility, and the site has already been selected on the Caroni Savannah Road, in Charlieville.

  • The services at this District Health Facility can be accessed by approximately 700 patients per day.

  • The old health centre will be located here and some the facilities available include:

    • An Accident and Emergency Department,

    • A General Practice Clinic,

    • An X-Ray facility,

    • A Pharmacy,

    • A Dental clinic,

    • Family Planning services,

    • Surveillance,

    • A Paediatric Specialist and Walk-in Clinic

    • An Internist

    • Specialist Outpatient Clinics

    • Laboratory services

    • Observation Facilities

    • Health Promotion Clinics

    • Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) services for HIV

Administrative offices will also be located at the facility. The Accident and Emergency Department is open 24/7 and the Health Centre is open to serve its patients, Monday to Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm, and Saturdays from 9:00am to 1:00pm. All other services are available Monday to Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm.

These facilities will serve a catchment area of approximately 135,000 residents in communities extending from Carlsen Field in the South to Felicity in the West, Charlieville in the North and St. Helena in the East, at least until the next health care facility is completed.

Laboratory Services and Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) services will soon be offered at this District Health Facility.

Infrastructure development-An overview

In 2007-2008 we completed and opened the following primary health care facilities:

  • The Oxford Street Enhanced Health Centre

  • The Barataria Mental Health and Wellness centre

  • The San Juan Health Centre

  • The Debe Health Centre

  • The Ste Madeleine Health Centre, and

In fiscal 2008-2009, we completed the:

  • La Romaine Health Centre,

  • the Debe Health Centre ,

  • the Ste. Madeleine Health Centre

  • The San Juan Health Centre and the

  • St. James District Health Facility.

  • Two mental health and wellness centres, one located in Barataria and the other in Port-of-Spain, were also completed and opened.

--The Siparia Health Centre has also been completed and will open later this month.
--This now brings us to a hundred and five (105) health centres servicing Trinidad and Tobago (86 in Trinidad and 19 in Tobago).

In this fiscal year our priority primary health care infrastructure projects include:

  • The Roxborough District Health Facility

  • An Upgrade of the Sangre Grande Health Centre to an Enhanced Health Centre

  • The Upgrade of the Arima District Health Facility

  • The Diego Martin Health Facility

  • The Carenage Health Centre

  • The Upper Laventille Health Facility

  • St. Joseph Enhanced Health Facility

  • And two (2) health centres in Tobago"

User satisfaction and caring
"I wish to stress the importance of customer satisfaction and the role of caring in achieving this important outcome. We cannot provide health care without the caring element.  I am pleased to report that there have been many instances where citizens wrote to the Ministry of Health and the media to highlight the kind and caring service they received at our public health institutions.

Of course, that is not to say that there are not areas for improvement. We know there are still shortcomings and we still have a lot of work to do.  Let us resolve that we will take service, kindness and caring to the next level. In fact, all of us in the health sector need to take ownership and efficiency to a higher level."

Click here for the entire speech by the Minister of Health.


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