Cabinet has given approval for the transfer of the management of St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Andrew from the Ministry of Health and Wellness to the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA).
Currently, the hospital does not operate under the management of a Regional Health Authority, but operates as a public health facility, which only offers private services.
This was disclosed by Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams, during a virtual post Cabinet Press briefing, today (February 24).
She informed that the hospital is classified as a public hospital under the National Health Services Act, and the Act allows for the transfer of the assets and liabilities to SERHA.
“The transfer will not impact the approximately 154 members of staff employed to the hospital nor have any negative impact on the public-private partnership arrangement for the hospital to have a Centre of Excellence in Oncology and Nephrology,” Mrs. Williams said.
Meanwhile, Cabinet also gave approval for the exemption of fees at public pharmacies for all persons with sickle cell disease (SCD) who access care at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) Sickle Cell Unit.
Mrs. Williams said this will enable them to have their prescriptions obtained from the Sickle Cell Unit filled at public pharmacies at no cost to them.
There are approximately 18,000 persons with SCD in Jamaica and 22 per cent of these persons currently seek care from the Sickle Cell Unit at the UHWI.
“These persons were not able to access medication that was available free of cost to sicklers who sought care in the public health system. The projected annual cost of providing the service is approximately $36 million, which would be funded from the pharmaceutical budget of the Ministry of Health and Wellness,” the Minister said.