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Cabinet has approved the procurement of private security guard services at health facilities in the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA).

The contract totalling $321.78 million was awarded to Marksman Limited for a period of three years.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, made the disclosure during a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House on February 1.

Providing a breakdown, Senator Reid said $207 million is for St. Ann (Block A) and $114.76 million is for St. Mary and Portland.

The NERHA was born out of the National Health Service Act in 1997 and the Government of Jamaica’s Health Reform Programme, which saw the decentralising of health service delivery.

Under decentralisation, the management of the delivery of health services shifted from central government (Ministry of Health) to four semi-autonomous bodies – the Regional Health Authorities (RHAs).

The RHAs have responsibility for the operation and management of health services within a defined geographic area. The NERHA comprises the parishes of St. Ann, St. Mary and Portland.