Audit of Regional Health Authorities To Be Released

Story Highlights

  • An audit of the country’s Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) is expected to be released shortly.
  • Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, who made the announcement today (November 3), said this will done to “prevent further misinformation (going out) to the public and in keeping with openness and transparency.”
  • The Minister was speaking at a signing ceremony at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in New Kingston, for contracts for the design and equipping of maternal and neonatal high dependency units.

An audit of the country’s Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) is expected to be released shortly.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, who made the announcement today (November 3), said this will done to “prevent further misinformation (going out) to the public and in keeping with openness and transparency.”

The Minister was speaking at a signing ceremony at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in New Kingston, for contracts for the design and equipping of maternal and neonatal high dependency units.

Dr. Ferguson noted that initially, the Government had decided to withhold the audit following consultations with several groups, but in the best interest of  citizens who still harbour fears of the hospitals that were audited, a decision has now been made to make the full audit public.

He said the intention was never to conceal anything, reminding that at a press briefing he hosted late last month, “we spoke to some of the critical issues in the audit and we also gave a summary of the audit.”

The Minister further noted that following queries from the media as well as requests for further information from members of the public, he will be giving a fulsome response to both the press and the public in a broadcast to the nation on Sunday, November 8.

“During that time, I will be making further announcements in relation to the way forward,” he said.

During the ceremony, contracts valued at $253 million were signed with several entities for the design and equipping of maternal and neonatal high dependency units in hospitals and health centres across the island.

The aim is to expand and improve the quality of care for premature infants and high-risk pregnant women.

The money has been provided under the J$3 billion (€22 million) Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC), funded by the European Union (EU), which is aimed at reducing the incidence of neonatal and maternal deaths.

Under this programme, the country, within the next three years, will be equipped with state-of-the-art neonatal and maternal high dependency units, and training will also be provided for staff who will be working in these areas.

The objectives of PROMAC include reducing the incidence of neonatal deaths, due to inadequate access to high dependency care; and reducing the incidence of maternal deaths, due to inadequate access to emergency obstetric care.

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