Ministry of Health Receives Donation of US$2 Million Worth of Pharmaceuticals

Photo: contributed Minister of Health, Hon Horace Dalley (2nd right) discusses some of the items donated by Issa Trust Foundation and Direct Relief with Permanent Secretary, Dr. Kevin Harvey (right), Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse (centre), Chairman of the Issa Trust Foundation, Paul Issa (left) and CEO of the Issa Trust Foundation, Dianne Pollard (2nd left) during the handing over of US$2 million worth of pharmaceuticals held at the Kingston Public Hospital on Friday, January 15, 2016.

Story Highlights

  • Even with the $8 billion there are times when poor people go the hospital and we don't have the things to give them. So when we have a donation like this we are very grateful to the Issa Trust Foundation and Direct Relief for assisting u
  • several steps are being taken to improve the patient experience at hospitals. As part of this in the coming financial year the Ministry will begin crafting an infrastructure programme to add some additional beds to hospitals including KPH
  • The Minister also indicated that the culture that exists where persons go to the hospital for every ailment, even those that can be attended to at a health centre, will have to change

The Ministry of Health on Friday (January 15, 2015) received a donation of pharmaceuticals valued at US$2 million from the Issa Trust Foundation and Direct Relief. The items which will be distributed across public health facilities island-wide were officially handed over at a ceremony held at the Kingston Public Hospital.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Health, Hon. Horace Dalley said the drug budget doubled from $4 billion last year to $8 billion this fiscal year and this is significant because “we are coming from a drug budget of $898 million in 2004/2005 to $2.4 billion in 2010/2011.”

“Even with the $8 billion there are times when poor people go the hospital and we don’t have the things to give them. So when we have a donation like this we are very grateful to the Issa Trust Foundation and Direct Relief for assisting us,” Minister Dalley said.

He points out that the ease with which the donation arrived in Jamaica was as a result of the Government’s decision to establish the Charities Act. Out of this the Ministry of Health put in place the Health for Life and Wellness Foundation through which the donation was facilitated.

Issa Trust Foundation and Direct Relief will seek to provide support to the Ministry of Health on a quarterly basis.

Meanwhile, Minister Dalley says several steps are being taken to improve the patient experience at hospitals. As part of this in the coming financial year the Ministry will begin crafting an infrastructure programme to add some additional beds to hospitals including KPH.

”Any country you go to there are times when the system is overloaded. Even in the richest country in the world you sometimes have to wait a long time before being seen because each hospital was built with a capacity. KPH for example has a capacity for 400 but we have 500 admitted. At Spanish Town it is the same situation.”

He added that “when the Accident and Emergency unit is full and someone comes in for a non-life threatening admission the doctors have to make a decision to admit the most critical person. So we do see people waiting for hours.”

The Minister also indicated that the culture that exists where persons go to the hospital for every ailment, even those that can be attended to at a health centre, will have to change.

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