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  • The overall health goal in Jamaica’s National Development Plan is for a healthy and stable population.
  • The Administration’s Manifesto calls for particular focus on the development of the health care infrastructure and improvements in patient outcomes.
  • Our objective is to develop a patient-centred health care system that can serve the needs of our local population as well as a global clientele.

Mr. Speaker, I am grateful to this Honourable House to be able to serve the people of Eastern St. Thomas for another year as their Member of Parliament. I am humbled by the level of trust that they have continually shown in me for more than 21 years. I will always serve them diligently for as long as they believe I am worthy.

Firstly, I should like to give thanks to the Almighty for His providential care. I thank the Most Honourable Prime Minister for entrusting me to lead one of the Ministries most important to sustainable national development. I assure her that she will never get any less than my best efforts as the Government seeks to improve the health of the people of Jamaica in keeping with our development agenda.

I am indebted to the team at the Ministry of Health, Agencies and Regional Health Authorities. Without their support, I could not have achieved as much as I have in the past two and a half years. I acknowledge the strong and bold leadership of Permanent Secretary, Dr. Jean Dixon. I also thank Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kevin Harvey; Directors in the Ministry, the Boards of all the Agencies and all my Advisors – even those who are not being paid to do so.

I have to take a moment to acknowledge the work of my colleague, Minister of State and Member from Westmoreland Eastern, Luther Buchanan, who started his assignment in the Ministry of Health in the area of Primary Health Care Infrastructure in January and has already made a significant impact. I look forward to the great work that we will do together.

Mr. Speaker, I have enjoyed the love and support of many local partners including private and non-Government organisations whose ingenuity, dedication and perseverance have assisted us in moving forward with countless health initiatives. The UN Agencies and our other Development Partners have also continued to support our efforts and I thank them on behalf of the people of Jamaica.

Mr. Speaker, this year, I feel like I have got closer to members of the Diaspora. Their interest and support for the health sector in Jamaica is incomparable. I have established a group – the Diaspora Think Tank and Advisory Body to give practical support for us to realise the goodwill available.

I must also acknowledge the Governments of the United States, Canada, Brazil, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Spain, Japan and Argentina as well as the European Union for their assistance and support…READ MORE

Download Contribution to the 2014/2015 Sectoral Debate by the Hon. Fenton Ferguson