The COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force has identified the need for a “sufficiently” robust legal framework to further support and enable the implementation of actioned responses to the virus.
Among the proposed recommendations outlined in the Committee’s Report is a review of priority legislation and draft amendments, as well as the accompanying requisite regulations for submission to Parliament, in order to bolster the legislative framework.
The Committee cited “several gaps” in the existing legislative and policy framework that, it said, impact a number of critical areas relating to the coordination and management of the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ and, by extension, Government’s COVID-19 response.
Among these, it noted, are the need to strengthen rules and procedures for the management of disasters related to biohazards, inadequate supporting legal framework to enforce and manage new infection prevention and control mechanisms, weak legislative framework to support central coordination of all health resources during a crisis, lack of a robust legislative framework for the registration of private health facilities and nursing homes, and limited legislative framework for electronic prescribing of clinical management within an infectious environment.
Other interventions proposed by the committee to rectify these include establishing a legislative framework for Information Systems for Health architecture, to support information and communications technology enhancement to health systems; collaborating with sector leaders to develop sector-specific infection and prevention control measures; and increasing the complement of public health inspectors by 300.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, announced the establishment of the Cabinet-approved multisectoral COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force to help chart Jamaica’s economic recovery from the fallout and devastation caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Representatives of the public and private sector comprise the 28-member Committee, which is chaired by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke.