November 4, 2005
Vermont has new Health Centre

Persons in the Vermont valley have reasons to celebrate. The Retreat Health Centre has been refurbished at a cost of EC $400,000.

The structure was erected by workmen from the Transport, Works and Housing Ministry, with money from the European Union and the Vincentian government. {{more}}

Last Monday was a gala occasion in the interior South Leeward district. The upgraded facility was reopened in style. Retired nurse Merle Clarke did the ribbon cutting.

She served in the health arena for 37 years, 28 of those in the Buccament valley. She expressed pride in seeing the completion of the new Retreat facilities and said, “It is long overdue.”

Clarke also gave some remarks as a community representative.

Her earlier calls for improvement to the facility had some impact and Health and Environment Minister Dr Douglas Slater, parliamentary representative for the area, praised her for her dedication to health care.

Permanent Secretary in the Health and Environment Ministry Verlene Saunders gave an overview of the project.

The refurbishment came as part of plans to upgrade the 21 Clinics in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

However, more work was required on the Retreat facility as the structure, erected in 1967, crumbled under the initial attempts.

Facilities have been provided for emergencies, asthma patients, an HIV/AIDS counseling room, a pharmacy, and furnished accommodation for the Nurse stationed there.

Work on the refurbishment started in June 2004.

Area representative Dr. Slater was pleased with the improvements. One who has been chided for his silence, Dr. Slater used the occasion to “toot his horn,” boasting of his performance as the South Leeward representative, Minister of Health and the Environment, and his regional recognition.

For Dr. Slater “silence is golden,” and “still waters run deep.”