Framework To Address Sustained Funding For Health Care By End Of March

Photo: Garwin Davis Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (third left), cuts ribbon to open the renovated male surgical ward at the St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital in St. Ann, on October 6. Others (from left) are: Senior Vice President, Information and Communications Technology, National Health Fund, Granville Gayle and Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says that by the end of this financial year, there will be a framework in place to address the matter of sustained funding for health care.
  • Mr. Holness, who was speaking at the opening of the expanded operating theatre and  the renovated male surgical ward as well as the handing over of an ambulance at the St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital on October 6, pointed that Jamaica, like most progressive countries, will be adopting the policy of a universal National Health Fund.
  • In the meantime, Mr. Holness noted  that “our behavior” in how we operate as a country drives the cost of health care and how we can adequately provide service to those who are critically in need.    “I notice from the profile of this hospital that we are seeing about 55,000 cases in Accident and Emergency (A&E). Now that is significant and that is where we are having a major cost in health care as most of what you see in A & E is avoidable. Much of it is due to violence. If we are able to reduce violence then we would literally be able to increase funding to more critical health conditions,”  he said.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says that by the end of this financial year, there will be a framework in place to address the matter of sustained funding for health care.

Mr. Holness, who was speaking at the opening of the expanded operating theatre and  the renovated male surgical ward as well as the handing over of an ambulance at the St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital on October 6, pointed that Jamaica, like most progressive countries, will be adopting the policy of a universal National Health Fund.

“When you are ill and you go to the hospital, you shouldn’t have to encounter a rationing system. You can encounter it afterwards, which is what most progressive and developing countries have done. They put in place a universal national health fund, so everybody contributes to the health fund and at the point of need they can access the service and then draw on the health fund afterwards. That is what we are pursuing,” the Prime Minister said.

He said the element of Jamaica’s health system that requires more resources, so as to enable it to perform more efficiently, will be addressed by a universal national health fund which is being worked on expeditiously.

“I know Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton and his team are working very hard at that and I should be receiving the first report on the framework by next March,” Mr. Holness pointed out.

“We will have a framework where we can report to the people of Jamaica on how we can ensure a sustained stream of funding for health care, so we can both deliver efficiently and effectively health care services to the country,” he added.

In the meantime, Mr. Holness noted  that “our behavior” in how we operate as a country drives the cost of health care and how we can adequately provide service to those who are critically in need.

“I notice from the profile of this hospital that we are seeing about 55,000 cases in Accident and Emergency (A&E). Now that is significant and that is where we are having a major cost in health care as most of what you see in A & E is avoidable. Much of it is due to violence. If we are able to reduce violence then we would literally be able to increase funding to more critical health conditions,”  he said.

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