JIS News

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  • Health Minister, John Junor has declared that the technology afforded by telemedicine puts Jamaica in good stead to strengthen the country's health tourism product, through the establishment of offshore training facilities in the island.
  • He said that these offshore facilities could prove to be attractive to investors in education.
  • Minister Junor was speaking at the opening of the Caribbean Telemedicine Symposium and Exhibition on July 23 on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

Health Minister, John Junor has declared that the technology afforded by telemedicine puts Jamaica in good stead to strengthen the country’s health tourism product, through the establishment of offshore training facilities in the island.

He said that these offshore facilities could prove to be attractive to investors in education.

Minister Junor was speaking at the opening of the Caribbean Telemedicine Symposium and Exhibition on July 23 on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

He said that government’s bid to capitalize on the opportunities available in telemedicine had resulted in collaboration between the Ministries of Health and Education, Youth and Culture to bring on board new investments in offshore training of health personnel.

“Telemedicine itself,” he noted, “is said to be one of the most promising new careers for those with the right skills and I want to commend the UWI for its plans to introduce certificate training programmes in telemedicine as we prepare ourselves for this new era.”

UWI is expected to begin training some 2000 health personnel, including doctors, nurses, and allied health officials in the telemedicine discipline by the end of this year.

The 22-course curriculum is being offered at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. The telemedicine certification programme is an initiative of the UWI and will be supported by the INFOSERV Institute.

Speaking on government’s policy on the export of health services, Minister Junor said: “we have long been involved in the export of health services throughout the migration of our trained professionals to other parts of the world.”

He noted however that, “what we are hoping to see is not just the migration of workers but with the utilization of the new technologies, we are hoping to see more practitioners involved in the export of services without leaving Jamaica or their home in the Caribbean, but provide these services from here and enhance not just the economy but specifically, the health tourism component in Jamaica.”

The three-day symposium is expected to focus on increasing national awareness in facilitating the establishment of a national telemedicine information technology network as well as enabling the development of a modern technology system known as ‘The Caribbean Mode’ that is intended to focus on the Caribbean as a health tourism product.

Two other key objectives of the symposium are to encourage and facilitate partnerships within the health sector, and to enable the full participation of health professionals from Jamaica and the wider region in accessing the global information technology marketplace.