JIS News

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  • Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says several public health facilities are to be upgraded with funding support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and European Union (EU).
  • He indicated that the IDB has provided a loan of US$50 million, while the EU has offered grant support of €10 million.
  • The funds will be used to further build-out the designated beneficiary hospitals and health centres islandwide.

Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says several public health facilities are to be upgraded with funding support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and European Union (EU).

He indicated that the IDB has provided a loan of US$50 million, while the EU has offered grant support of €10 million.

The funds will be used to further build-out the designated beneficiary hospitals and health centres islandwide.

“It is the largest capital expenditure programme to our public health infrastructure in the last 30 years,” the Minister pointed out.

He was speaking at the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ St. James Town Hall Meeting, at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre in Sam Sharpe Square on Thursday (February 6).

Dr. Tufton said the Government remains committed to strengthening Jamaica’s public health facilities over the next few years.

“So you are going to see a big build-out of the Spanish Town Hospital, and you are going to see a build-out of the May Pen Hospital and St. Ann’s Bay Hospital. There are [also] 10 health centres where you are going to see major expansions,” he further outlined.

The targeted health centres include those serving residents of Adelphi, Barrett Town, Flanker, Catherine Hall and Granville in St. James, which will be undertaken at a cost of $154 million.

These will be funded from the grant provided under the EU’s Poverty Reduction Programme.

“So over the next two years, or so, starting this year, we are going to break a lot ground to improve and enhance the [healthcare] infrastructure. We have money to do it. [So] it’s not just a promise… it is commitment,” Dr. Tufton indicated.

The town hall meeting was the second in a series of islandwide public forums being hosted on the ‘Status of Health’.

It was used to provide updates on developments in St. James and western Jamaica, particularly activities being employed in relation to Dengue and the novel Coronavirus.

For her part, Medical Officer of Health for St. James, Dr. Marcia Johnson-Campbell, noted that the parish has recorded a steady decline in the number of hospital admissions for dengue.

“We were at a high of 18 admissions in September last year and, to date [for 2020], we have only had two to Cornwall Regional Hospital. We have seen our Aedes [Aegypti mosquito] index go down steadily from 23 per cent, when we started out in November 2018, to seven per cent as at February 2020,” she indicated.

Dr. Johnson-Campbell urges the persons to continue supporting the authorities in controlling the mosquito population and reducing spread of dengue by, among other things, searching for and destroying mosquito breeding sites.