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Story Highlights

  • Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says operational changes are to be implemented at the island’s public health institutions, to improve service delivery and better co-ordinate links between government health entities.
  • As it relates to the management of patients’ medical records, Dr. Tufton said how records are kept and the digitizing of those records are to be addressed over the medium term.
  • Dr. Tufton, who was on his first official tour of the hospital since taking up office, was accompanied by Board members of the Western Regional Health Authority.

Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says operational changes are to be implemented at the island’s public health institutions, to improve service delivery and better co-ordinate links between government health entities.

“What we want to do is try to adjust the organisation between the clinics and hospitals, to try and move patients (through the system) a lot quicker by having the primary healthcare facilities complementing the hospitals,” Dr Tufton explained.

The Minister was speaking to JIS News, following his tour of the Cornwall Regional Hospital, in Montego Bay, on April 28.
He pointed out that the change would ease the patient load at hospitals by remitting users to clinics and health centres, thereby reducing waiting time for patients.

“The other thing that we will have to look at is diagnostics, whether we can have public-private partnerships to take the load off the system,” he said.

As it relates to the management of patients’ medical records, Dr. Tufton said how records are kept and the digitizing of those records are to be addressed over the medium term.

“It’s a very expensive process and I have already started to have discussions with possible providers,” he informed, adding that the process of digitization was already in progress at the University Hospital of the West Indies.

Another area of focus, the Minister said, will be the delivery of “compassionate healthcare” and the Government will be looking at ways to introduce the necessary personnel to ensure its successful implementation.

“I firmly believe in compassionate care, because I think it is necessary. We have to find a way, even under adverse circumstances, to administer healthcare in a way that shows compassion. We are going to look at the softer skills that need to be introduced, bring in more people and expose them to the patients under the supervision of doctors,” Dr. Tufton added.

The Minister commended the Cornwall Regional Hospital staff for “doing a good job.”

Dr. Tufton, who was on his first official tour of the hospital since taking up office, was accompanied by Board members of the Western Regional Health Authority.