Cuba to assist with maintenance of health sector equipment


As part of Government’s efforts to better maintain equipment utilised by the health sector, Cuban technicians are to assist the country in this regard, Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, has announced.
This follows a bi-lateral agreement between Jamaica and Cuba, which comes into effect July next year and will involve the enhancement of Jamaica’s capacity in bio-medical engineering.
Speaking at a Rotary Club of Kingston East and Port Royal meeting on Monday (November 1), at Morgan’s Harbour Hotel and Restaurant in Port Royal, Kingston, Mr. Spencer bemoaned the fact that there are some $600,000 worth of equipment lying in the hallways of Kingston Public, Victoria Jubilee, Cornwall Regional (Hospitals), some needing “just a little fixing” but with nobody to fix them.

Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer (left), browses through a document with President of the Rotary Club of Kingston East and Port Royal, Marcia Edwards-Barned, during a Club meeting on Monday (November 1), at the Morgan’s Harbour Hotel and Restaurant in Port Royal.

“And so, in looking at that as part of our bilateral agreement, I negotiated directly with the Minister of Health in Cuba, and I’m pleased to announce that coming very soon, as early as July, we have those technicians coming from Cuba to help us to not only repair those equipment but they’ll spend time at the University of Technology training our own people, so that they in turn will be able to maintain those equipment,” he said.
Additionally, the Minister said that the Government is moving to purchasing equipment across regions, and is entering into service contracts with the suppliers of equipment to help the country develop a culture of maintenance in the public health sector.
The Minister said that he has given instructions that the Government would not be buying any more equipment in the health sector, unless it comes with a service agreement. He pointed out that, too often, very expensive equipment are not serviced properly and, within two years, they no longer work and all that is required is to have them effectively serviced.
During the meeting, the Club recognised the services of Professor Frederick Hickling, as part of its focus on vocations for October observed by the Club as ‘Vocational Service Month’. Mr. Hickling is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of the West Indies (UWI).

Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer (left), accepts a certificate of appreciation for being the guest speaker at a Rotary Club of Kingston East and Port Royal meeting, from Rotarian Michael Johnson (right). At centre is President of the Club, Marcia Edwards-Barned. The function was held on Monday (November 1), at Morgan’s Harbour Hotel and Restaurant in Port Royal.

The Health Minister commended the Rotary Club for recognising the tremendous work the Professor has done in the health sector.
“Our mental health policies have been guided by stalwarts such as Professor Hickling, who had a vision that they believed in and that they worked hard to achieve,” he said.

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