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Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, has said that the Government is currently on a drive to procure and stock important machines at public hospitals, to ensure that the facilities can offer quality health care.
In a message, read by Director of Policy, Planning and Development at the Ministry of Health, Mr. Howard Lynch, at the launch of the Manchester Chapter of the Southern Regional Health Foundation, in Mandeville, on April 29, the Minister said the effort would enable persons to consistently access health care near to where they reside.
“We are on a drive to increase our equipment stock across all public hospitals, and to ensure that we have a maintenance schedule for every piece of machinery in our public health system. It is important for us to have available, the diagnostic and other equipment that persons who visit our facilities need for their care,” Mr. Spencer said.
The Minister said that the Government believes in the fundamental principle of the right of persons to health, and although it cannot provide for every citizen by itself, the work of Health Foundations are key in the development of the nation’s health care system.
“We are committed to hastening the repositioning of primary health care as the foundation of any good and sustainable system. We are heartened by the increase in utilisation of health centres since the abolition of user fees in 2008, and we will continue to promote this as part of our policy. Given the numbers we have seen in terms of visits to health centres, this has become an even greater priority and we are committed to increasing access at the primary care level for persons in communities,” he said.
“This would not only relieve the burden on hospitals, but will also remove the need for persons to travel far distances to visit hospitals when the same can be obtained at their community health centre. The money saved in travelling costs can help the family with other expenses,” the Minister added.
Mr. Spencer argued that the efforts of private citizens are crucial in timely and quality health care delivery. “We recognise the need to develop public/private partnerships amidst this environment of declining budgets, to improve the health care system and to ensure that the most vulnerable persons can access quality health care,” he said.