Friday, August 28 – A community meeting to discuss plans for a new clinic and multipurpose community centre on Jost Van Dyke attracted strong interest and participation among residents.
The meeting last evening at the Jost Van Dyke Primary School was hosted by the Ministry of Health and Social Development, and attended by Deputy Premier and subject minister Honourable Dancia Penn OBE, QC; District Representative Honourable J. Alvin Christopher; and Territorial-at-Large Representative Honourable Irene Penn-O’Neal.

Acting Permanent Secretary Mrs. Petrona Davies chaired the meeting, which featured a detailed outline of renderings for the new public facility by architect Mr. Edwin Adams.
In her welcoming remarks the Deputy Premier reminded the residents about Government’s commitment to foster dialogue with communities throughout the Virgin Islands. “We thought it was very important to honour a promise that we made a long time ago to stay in touch and to consult; not to make decisions and try to push those decisions down your throats,” she said.

The District Representative noted that input from health professionals was considered when plans for the new facility were being drafted. “We have gone to the extreme to create a design that will enhance the medical care, which is offered on the island”, Honourable Christopher said while stressing that the building will be a multipurpose facility.

The architect said the proposed building will occupy approximately one acre of land, adjacent to the Jost Van Dyke Primary School in Great Harbour. Mr. Adams also noted that a community clinic, senior citizens centre, and a youth centre are envisaged for the dual-level building. Proposed medical amenities include a doctor’s office, nurse’s station, a dental area, and a trauma area.
Last evening’s meeting was also attended by several officials from the Ministry of Health and Social Development and the BVI Health Services Authority. Among them was the BVIHSA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ronald Georges who was among the officials addressing the residents.

Broad consensus was achieved on the design changes required for each area of the facility, and final drawings and construction documents are expected to be submitted for planning approval by the end of November.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development aspires to provide leadership that promotes health, social wellbeing, and a safe environment as positive resources for living and sustainable development of the Virgin Islands.