MONTEGO BAY – Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, says the consultation on health financing has begun, with a formal discussion held with the Opposition Spokesman on Health, Dr. Kenneth Baugh, on April 18.
"I met with Dr. Kenneth Baugh, because I believe that Health and Education are two areas that require unity of purpose across the political divide," the Minister said.
Dr. Ferguson was delivering the keynote address at the official opening of a renovated building to be used as the new maternity ward, at the Black River Hospital, in St. Elizabeth, on April 19.
The Minister said that the Opposition Spokesman on Health put forward some very useful suggestions, and that the consultation will continue over the next two to three months.
Dr. Ferguson argued that the matter of health financing should entail some amount of cost sharing, but before any changes are made to the current system of free health care at public health facilities, consultations will be carried out across the island.
He said the Government is moving towards free universal access at the primary care level within the sector, with guaranteed established quality health care services.
"In short order, we will be hosting at least four national consultations, one in each health region, as well as smaller meetings to get feedback from our stakeholders, before we determine the way forward," the Minister said.
Dr. Ferguson emphasized that there has to be a balance between access to services, and the delivery of quality service.
Contact: Bryan Miller
JIS Regional Office