- An impassioned plea for motorists to exercise caution on the nation’s roads has been made by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.
- The Prime Minister emphasised that road crashes do not have to be at such a high level.
- Roll-out of the mobile unit across Jamaica is expected to begin next month.
An impassioned plea for motorists to exercise caution on the nation’s roads has been made by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.
“Drive with care, drive with consideration, slow down, arrive at your destination alive. Your life is in your hands on the road,” he urged.
The Prime Minister’s appeal came as he addressed the launch of Guardian Life’s Mobile Health Unit, at its corporate headquarters in New Kingston, on July 21.
Mr. Holness informed that a study has revealed that motor-vehicle crashes put an $8-billion strain on the nation’s health sector annually.
He also noted that this increases the waiting time for persons urgently in need of aid at healthcare facilities. “It also damages public infrastructure, which is a cost to the State,” Mr. Holness said.
The Prime Minister emphasised that road crashes do not have to be at such a high level. “They can be brought down. It is a function of how we use the public thoroughfare,” he said.
Mr. Holness commended the financial institution for its foresight in providing the mobile unit, which will help ease the hassle of obtaining primary healthcare for members of the society.
The $60-million investment by Guardian Life is a 40ft medical office on wheels, which will travel to multiple locations islandwide, including schools, businesses and communities.
The unit has two examination rooms, two medical doctors and two nurses, and is equipped with an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine, equipment for eye testing and for checking body mass index (BMI), height and weight, pap smears and urinalyses, among other services.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, Shirley Newby-Hibbert, who delivered Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton’s remarks, said the mobile unit is a positive step towards building the capacity of Jamaica’s healthcare system.
“The impact of the mobile unit will provide reach and coverage and provide high-quality healthcare at a reduced cost to the vulnerable population,” she said.
Mrs. Newby-Hibbert also commended Vice-President of Sales and Marketing in the Employee Benefits Division, Alicia Foster, who is credited with the mobile unit initiative.
For his part, Guardian Life Limited President, Eric Hosin, said the mobile unit is part of his company’s corporate social responsibility programme.
Mr. Hosin told the Prime Minister that upon request by the Government, Guardian Life will be “more than willing” to use the unit in the event of a national crisis.
He also indicated that his company is “looking forward to helping to improve the lives of others”.
Roll-out of the mobile unit across Jamaica is expected to begin next month.