Health Minister Says Diaspora Adopt-A-Clinic Project Necessary

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton (right), greets Registered Nurse and Chairperson of the Jamaica Diaspora Health Sector, Claudette Powell, at a special Diaspora interest group meeting, held at the Jamaica Diaspora Conference in downtown Kingston on July 26.

Story Highlights

  • Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the Diaspora Adopt-a-Clinic project is necessary for renewing faith in the primary healthcare system.
  • “We need those clinics to function in the communities, be relevant to the communities and maintain the credibility. The main objective of the (project) is to provide a longer term relationship between the adopter and the service that is being provided (at the facility),” he said.
  • The Minister informed that outside of the Diaspora, corporate entities such as LASCO, Wisynco and Victoria Mutual Building Society have also played their part in adopting facilities close to their businesses.

Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the Diaspora Adopt-a-Clinic project is necessary for renewing faith in the primary healthcare system.

Speaking at a special interest group meeting at the Jamaica Diaspora Conference in downtown Kingston on July 26, Dr. Tufton noted that many persons do not appear to have faith in that system because of a lack of belief in the quality of care they will receive.

However, Dr.Tufton informed that the primary healthcare system is important in order to alleviate the burden experienced by the secondary and tertiary level healthcare system, which is where the Adopt-a-Clinic project becomes relevant.

“We need those clinics to function in the communities, be relevant to the communities and maintain the credibility. The main objective of the (project) is to provide a longer term relationship between the adopter and the service that is being provided (at the facility),” he said.

Following a needs assessment of 320 health centres, the Ministry of Health has prioritised 100 centres for adoption by the Diaspora and other friends of Jamaica.

For the UK Diaspora Adopt-a-Clinic project, interested individuals can visit the established website at: adoptaclinicjamaica.co.uk to make donations of £5,000 or more as well as other contributions.

Persons can also make donations through the Ministry’s Health and Wellness Foundation website, as some health centres require maintenance, infrastructural upgrades and equipment and furnishings.

The Minister informed that outside of the Diaspora, corporate entities such as LASCO, Wisynco and Victoria Mutual Building Society have also played their part in adopting facilities close to their businesses.

For his part, Chairman of Adopt-a-Clinic UK, Paul Harrison, pointed to the support the project has been receiving, particularly the Whitehall Health Centre in St. Thomas.

He explained that a Nigerian man made a donation of £500 to the health centre based on his close association to a church pastored by a Jamaican.

“He hears his pastor always talking about Jamaica and he said he wanted to adopt a clinic. He is going to head a team in his church and between them collectively, they will be making donations weekly and monthly to that particular clinic,” he explained.

Mr. Harrison emphasised that the project will remain as transparent as possible.

One of the committee members for the UK Diaspora Adopt-a-Clinic project, Dr. Nelda Frater, who owns a medical practice in England, is planning to support clinics in Wait-a-Bit, Trelawny, her birthplace.

She plans to provide those clinics as well as others with water tanks and other equipment.

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