Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre *File photo
Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre *File photo

The east end’s urgent care clinic is to axe its daytime testing service as a cost-cutting measure, the Bermuda Hospitals Board confirmed today.

The news came nearly two weeks after the Bermuda Sun exclusively revealed that hospital chiefs were looking to cut the daytime diagnostic service at the four-year-old clinic to save cash.

Bermuda Hospitals Board CEO and president Vanetta Symonds said: “Unfortunately, the small number of people accessing the limited daytime service does not support us staffing the facility from 8am to 4pm.

“In the current environment, it is simply not cost-effective for Bermuda at a time when we are seeking ways to be more efficient and control the costs of healthcare for the island.”

She added that the daytime service averaged only ten people a day.

The Lamb Foggo Centre provided daytime services for people referred by doctors for X-ray, ultrasound or blood and urine tests to save them having to travel to the main hospital or other test providers in the Hamilton area.

The night time service, which runs from 4pm to midnight during the week and noon to midnight at weekends, will continue to be fully-staffed with a doctor, nurse and technicians.

Around 5,000 people a year take advantage of the late-night urgent care service.

Ms Symonds said: “The urgent care centre provides a useful service in the evenings, weekends and public holidays for people with minor injuries and illnesses who cannot wait for their primary care physician’s office to open.

“This out of hours service is well-utilised and figures show that it has reduced some of the pressure experienced in the hospital’s emergency department.”

She added that the diagnostic team who staffed the clinic during the day will be redeployed to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

The Lamb Foggo Centre is also designed to provide medical services to the east end if the causeway is closed due to hurricane damage or in the event of other natural disasters.