Jamaicans in Canada have donated well-needed medical supplies to the four regional health authorities to assist in providing optimal health care to patients across the country.
Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, on (October 19), handed over the supplies of some 300,000 needles and syringes to representatives of the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA), South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA) and the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) at his Hagley Park Road office in St. Andrew.
Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague addresses a ceremony held on (Oct.19) at the Department of Local Government’s headquarters on Hagley Park Road, St. Andrew to hand over medical supplies donated by Jamaicans in Canada. Looking on are (from left): Senior Administrator at the Cornwall Regional Hospital, Dawn Harvey and Chief Executive Officer of the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Beverley Needham.
He said the supplies, valued at some $750,000, would go a far way in assisting medical officials carry out their mandate of providing quality health care to Jamaicans.
He said for the past few years, a number of Jamaicans living in the North American country have been making donations to various hospitals and other health facilities by sending medical supplies periodically.
“What we (the Government) arranged is that we would consolidate whatever gifts Jamaicans in Canada want to donate to the medical fraternity here, and, as a result of that, rather than they just ship a box or a barrel, they are now (collectively) shipping containers,” Mr. Montague explained.
He informed that over the years, the Canadian Diaspora, through representation from the Local Government Department, has made donations of medical supplies and equipment to health facilities including wheelchairs, hospital beds and walkers, and he is in discussions with the Ministry of Health to establish a committee that would liaise with the Diaspora to monitor similar contributions. He said he hopes that local prisons would also be able to benefit from the assistance.
According to Minister Montague, there are a large number of Jamaicans living abroad, who are willing to support their country in whatever way possible.
Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague presents Chief Executive Officer of the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Beverley Needham, with medical supplies for the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), during a handing over ceremony on (Oct.19) at the Department of Local Government’s headquarters on Hagley Park Road, St. Andrew. The medical supplies were donated by members of the Jamaican Diaspora in Canada.
“When you do an informal survey, you find that the majority of Jamaicans that leave here it is the health sector in North America that they work.they are at points in the US (United States) and the Canadian systems where they can be of benefit to us, but we just need to coordinate and tap into that resource that we have,” he noted.
In the meantime, Minister Montague said that a shipment of medical supplies is expected in the island before Christmas, which may contain a CATSCAN machine, which was requested by the SRHA. “The (Diaspora) groups have also promised to donate some 10 dialysis machines and have also pledged to provide experts to assist with training medical staff here on how to use the machines,” he informed.
Chief Executive Officer of the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Beverley Needham expressed thanks on behalf of the SERHA for “the kind donations.”
She commended the Department of Local Government for “continuing to foster worthwhile partnerships that have resulted in several donations to the health sector over the years.”
“We sincerely hope that you will continue to seek out other viable partnerships, so that we can continue, as a region, to deliver on our mandate to provide access to health care for the people of Jamaica,” she added.
Regional Director for the SRHA, Timothy Scarlett; Senior Administrator at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (WRHA), Dawn Harvey; and Parish Manager of the NERHA, Dr. Isaac Brown also expressed gratitude for the donations on behalf of their regions.