JIS News

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  • Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, has welcomed the $7 billion increase in the Ministry’s budget, which was announced by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, during her Budget Debate presentation in the House of Representatives last week.
  • Dr. Ferguson said the increased provision will enable the Ministry to commence work aimed at further improving health care delivery at public medical facilities islandwide.

Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, has welcomed the $7 billion increase in the Ministry’s budget, which was announced by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, during her Budget Debate presentation in the House of Representatives last week.

A total of $49.1 billion has been allocated to the Ministry in the 2015/16 Budget, which is 17 per cent more than the 2014/15 allocation.

Dr. Ferguson said the increased provision will enable the Ministry to commence work aimed at further improving health care delivery at public medical facilities islandwide.

“This is significant in an environment of tight fiscal policy and an International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement. It tells us of the importance of the health sector and that it remains a priority. We will be taking steps to restructure the way we provide health services, in order to provide the quantum and quality of service required by the Jamaican population,” he said.

Dr. Ferguson, who was addressing a ceremony for the dedication of new facilities at the Hargreaves Memorial Hospital in Mandeville on Thursday (March 26), also informed that the Ministry will be advancing plans, approved by Cabinet, for a new primary health care renewal policy.

 

This, he said, to assist in “realigning” the primary health care network and infrastructure “to address the population shift that we have seen over the past 30 years.”

He pointed out that the Ministry continues to improve access to health care services at the community level under the Primary Health Care Renewal Programme “in which 128 health centres have been renovated at a cost of over $660 million (while) eight others are pending completion.”

Dr. Ferguson further noted that “significant work” has also been undertaken at several secondary health institutions.

These include: Bustamante Hospital for Children, Kingston; St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital, St. Ann; Annotto Bay Hospital, St. Mary; Noel Holmes Hospital, Hanover; and Falmouth Hospital, Trelawny.

“All of what we are doing is in an effort to improve service delivery to patients, while ensuring that we provide a comfortable, safe, and healthy working environment for staff,” the Health Minister said.

The dedication ceremony was for the hospital’s 10-room Calvin and Sylvia’s Vision of Hope block, and newly installed Computer Tomography (CT) machine.

The block and CT scan machine were built and installed by the hospital’s management, headed by Chairman, Calvin Lyn, and wife, Sylvia Lyn, at a cost of approximately $40 million.

The new rooms increase the complement to 28, and the bed space to approximately 35.