Public-Private Partnerships Needed to Fund Projects in Health Sector

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Winston De La Haye, addresses a JIS Think Tank on the importance of the Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey.

Story Highlights

  • Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Winston De La Haye, is underscoring the need for public-private partnerships to provide funding for important projects pertaining to public health.
  • Dr. De La Haye, who was addressing a JIS Think Tank on Wednesday (January 4), noted that the provision of health information is a policy priority and is one of the most important areas of work of the Ministry.
  • He explained that the JHLS looks at the burden and risk factors in terms of NCDs, the conditions and the complications, prevalence and secular trends.

Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Winston De La Haye, is underscoring the need for public-private partnerships to provide funding for important projects pertaining to public health.

Among these is the Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey (JHLS) III, now under way, which provides data on chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The Government is providing funding for JHLS III at a cost of approximately $95 million.

Dr. De La Haye, who was addressing a JIS Think Tank on Wednesday (January 4), noted that the provision of health information is a policy priority and is one of the most important areas of work of the Ministry.

He said that engaging the private sector would ensure adequate funds to carry out the survey at the appointed time. Private support will also enable the Government to concentrate funding on other areas of critical need in the health sector.

“The aim must be to have adequate funding in order to do these surveys every five years, and so in keeping with the Minister’s thrust of public-private partnerships, there is no doubt in my mind that we need to engage the private sector,” Dr. De La Haye said.

He explained that the JHLS looks at the burden and risk factors in terms of NCDs, the conditions and the complications, prevalence and secular trends.

“It is in doing this (survey) that we are able to get the kind of information that we need to move forward,” Dr. De La Haye said.

“We certainly need to move from having to treat the consequences of diseases towards preventing these diseases. It is through these efforts and disseminating information acquired from these surveys that we need to engage the Jamaican population in maintaining their health… thereby reducing the expenditure on healthcare,” he added.

 

Dr. De La Haye informed that this is the third survey being conducted. He said a comparison of statistics garnered over the years will show how the country is progressing in terms of addressing NCDs.

“Most importantly, we will know the impact of policy decisions at the level of the Ministry in terms of measurable outcomes, as opposed to feeling that we are doing the right thing with the scientific evidence, and that, in fact, the decisions we make are impacting the health of our people,” he told JIS News.

Data from the previous surveys have provided critical information for the creation of the National Health Fund and informed the Ministry’s National Policy for the Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles (2004) as well as a World Bank 2011 study on Public Policy and the challenge of chronic NCDs.

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