Mothers who take part in the Maternal and Child Health Children with Special Health Care Needs Program, commonly referred to as MCH, will have to make appointments to get services, as the Department of Health announced Monday it will no longer be able to provide walk-in service.
Seven administrative and aide positions that supported the program have been eliminated from the federal grant that funds MCH, the department explained. Providing service by appointment will enable the department to provide greater efficiency, according to acting Health Commissioner Dr. Marc A. Jerome.
“The appointments for services will ensure that the public continues to get the optimal care that our resources afford and that our employees can provide,” Jerome said.
Residents who want to schedule appointments can call 773-1311, ext. 4222, in the St. Croix district and 777-8804 in the St. Thomas-St. John district.
MCH provides audiology, physical therapy, general pediatric services, prenatal and services for children with special health care needs, among others.
Jerome said the department’s goal is to provide healthcare services to residents who meet the goals and objectives prescribed by the Title V Block Grant’s tenets with the resources available.
The seven administrative and support employees who had to be let go were being paid from the Title V Block Grant provided to the program, Jerome said. The federal government mandated the funds be used for direct healthcare-provider services, not support personnel.
“We must comply with the federal mandate to utilize the grant for its intended purpose and not place at risk the loss of funding all together,” Jerome said.