Health Minister Sir Molywn Joseph has confirmed that government officials are looking towards middle of 2022 for the opening of the Glanvilles Polyclinic, depending on the epidemiological situation in the country.
He provided that information ahead of a planned picket at the facility on December 7th by a group who is calling for the clinic to be opened to serve members of the community who are reportedly travelling from as far as Parham and Newfield to access healthcare services and there are logistical challenges.
The action is being led by United Progressive Party (UPP) candidate for St Phillip’s North, Alex Browne, who contends that government is dragging its feet on the opening of the facility and no timelime has been set for it to open.
He claims he has also been told that a shortage of manpower was the reason for the delay.
“On December 7th we are going to go out there and we will see if we can push them to at least bring awareness for them to open the clinic, especially for the elderly and the young mothers who require the service for their babies,” Browne said.
Minister Joseph, however, explained that while the center was scheduled to be opened this year, this was delayed due to national vaccination programme which was taken place at several sites including the Glanvilles center.
He said health officials thought it was too risky to conduct vaccination and regular clinic appointments at the facility at the same time.
“We went through the first round, then we went through the second round. We had another surge just after carnival which further delayed the opening of the clinic. The clinic is due to be opened hopefully by the middle of next year 2022.
“We have to be careful the way we manage health in Antigua and Barbuda; we cannot make a decision like opening up a clinic during the vaccination of hundreds of people with the risks of spreading the disease in the community,” Joseph said.