Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is imploring private medical practitioners to keep their offices open in order to assist the national effort in combatting the coronavirus (COVID-19).
He made the appeal at a press conference at Jamaica House in Kingston on Monday (March 23).
Minister Tufton said that the closure of private practices, which treat about 55 per cent of the population on a normal basis, would result in crowding at public hospitals, “which we really would like to avoid at this point”.
“Yesterday (Monday), we had a Zoom meeting (video conferencing) with about 400 practitioners, many of them private operators, and we are appealing to them and to the rest of the country where private practitioners operate, to avoid or be discouraged from shutting down,” he said.
The Minister noted that some of the private practitioners have indicated that they do not feel that they are fully equipped to operate at this time.
“We’re saying that if you have an issue and you’d like us to engage in conversation, we have the numbers wherever you are for that type of conversation,” he said.
“We are reaching out and we will continue to do so,” he added.