Contribution to the 2013/2014 Sectoral Debate by Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, M.P

The Ministry of Health continues to formulate policies and programmes to reach the goal of a healthy and stable population.

As part of my commitment to secure the health and wellbeing of the people of Jamaica, the Ministry of Health has crafted a Strategic Business Plan which takes into account our National Development Plan Vision 2030, this Administration’s Manifesto and international treaties and agreements such as the Millennium Development Goals in which we commit to ensuring access to affordable health care without compromising the quality of care.

We have developed an Operational Plan for 2013-2014 in the context of this Strategic Plan. The Ministry has made progress in achieving the indicated health goals including improving services to the people and we have just started on a programme to upgrade the physical infrastructure of the public health sector.

I have visited a number of the facilities and have seen firsthand the conditions and had the opportunity to assess the quality of services. I am very aware of the needs Mr. Speaker!

While we continue to put as much resources as possible into the health sector, we are cognizant of the limitations we face given the environment of scarce resources, shrinking budgets in the public and private sectors and the IMF conditionalities.

Health was front and centre in the discussions with the IMF team. As the country negotiated for an Extended Fund Facility, the social sector was critical to the sign-off by the multilateral partner. The Ministry has taken a proactive approach to implement the strategies under the agreement. I urge all of us in the health sector to band together and do our part to ensure that Jamaica satisfies the obligations – we are all in this thing together!

Achievements of the Ministry of Health 2012-2013

Mr. Speaker, during the past year, we have been hard at work with the support of my team and together we were able to bring a number of projects to completion. I have made a Ministry Paper available to this honourable House, which will be tabled today and which outlines our programme of work and accomplishments in detail but allow me to present a quick summary of some of our achievements.

Child & Adolescent Hospital

We have now received the concept paper for the Child and Adolescent Hospital in Western Jamaica. We will be submitting this to the Development Bank of Jamaica to invite private participation after internal review.

Infrastructure improvements

Mr. Speaker infrastructure upgrade was done to the tune of more than $375 million on hospitals including St. Ann’s Bay Regional, Annotto Bay, Princess Margaret, Black River, Mandeville Regional, Bustamante, Bellevue, Cornwall Regional and Savanna-la-mar…READ MORE

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