Feature
Health Minister, Dr. the Hon Christopher Tufton, greets a patient at the launch of the Compassionate Care Programme at the Black River Hospital in St. Elizabeth.
Photo: File Photo

Story Highlights

  • The Government continued to invest in the development of the health sector in 2018, with billions of dollars spent to upgrade and equip hospitals and clinics islandwide.
  • • The Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department at the Linstead Hospital in St Catherine was reopened following extensive renovation at a cost of $144.98 million.
  • • A New Drug Serv Pharmacy was opened at the hospital through $31 million in funding from the National Health Fund (NHF).

The Government continued to invest in the development of the health sector in 2018, with billions of dollars spent to upgrade and equip hospitals and clinics islandwide.

Infrastructure Improvement

• The Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department at the Linstead Hospital in St Catherine was reopened following extensive renovation at a cost of $144.98 million.

• A New Drug Serv Pharmacy was opened at the hospital through $31 million in funding from the National Health Fund (NHF).

• The Robins Hall Health Centre in Manchester was officially reopened following renovation by the CHASE Fund at a cost of $30 million.

• The Kitson Town Health Centre in St. Catherine was upgraded at a cost of $69 million with funds from the NHF. A Compassionate Care Programme and Telemedicine Pilot Project were also launched at the facility.

• Ground was broken for the upgrading of the Stony Hill Health Centre in St. Andrew at a cost of $59 million.

• A National Linear Cancer Treatment Centre was opened at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kingston. The $860-million facility utilises state-of-the-art Linear Accelerator (LINAC) machines to administer radiation therapy.

• The renovated Paediatric Ward at the St Ann’s Bay Hospital was opened.

• Two elevators were upgraded and commissioned into service at the National Chest Hospital in Kingston, with funding from the NHF in the sum of $19.3 million.

Health Minister, Dr. the Hon Christopher Tufton (right) and Head Radiation Oncologist for the newly built National Linear Cancer Treatment Centre at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kingston, Dr. Praveen Sharma, examine a computerised tomography (CT) simulator at the facility.

 

Adopt-A-Clinic

• Eight additional clinics were adopted under the project, which invites the private sector to partner with the Government for the upgrading of primary health care facilities. They are Enfield, St. Mary; Cascade, Hanover; Mount Carey, St. James; Lamb’s River and Petersfield in Westmoreland; Elderslie, St. Elizabeth; Mount Pleasant, Portland; and St. Jago, St. Catherine. The adoptions are equivalent to approximately $9.7 million.

• 100 priority clinics in Jam-aica have been identified for adoption.

 

Donation of Equipment

• The Governments of Jamaica and Japan signed a grant agreement for the provision of $10 million for the purchase of a Mobile Digital C-Arm for the May Pen Hospital in Clarendon. The equipment is expected to enhance orthopaedic care at the facility.

• The St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital received a donation of a new state-of-the-art ultrasound machine, valued at approximately $8.2 million, from Japan.

• Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) received an ultrasound machine, anaesthetic patient monitor and a patient monitor from the United Kingdom-based Rejuvenate Jamaica Hospitals charity organisation.

• The maternal fetal medicine unit of the Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH) received medical supplies and equipment valued at over $3 million from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

• Jamaica benefited from a number of health missions during the year.

 

Compassionate Care Programme

• The Compassionate Care Programme was launched at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital. The initiative has since been implemented at Cornwall Regional, Black River, Falmouth, and St. Ann’s Bay Hospitals.

More Nurses Trained
• The first cohort of nurses, which departed the island in June to study in China under the Jamaica-China Bilateral Cooperation Nurses Training Programme, returned at the end of August.

• 32 psychiatric nursing aides from the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) benefited from training.

Health Interventions
Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
• On April 7, the Ministry of Health celebrated the first anniversary of the ‘Jam-aica Moves’ campaign.

Health Minister, Dr. the Hon Christopher Tufton, is joined by students and representatives of the Heart Foundation of Jamaica, at the launch of Run for Your HEART 5K at Emancipation Park.

 

• The initiative was expanded to schools at the start of the 2018/19 academic year, with the goal of educating students on how to live healthy lives.

• Health Minister Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton addressed the United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting in New York on September 27, where he outlined activities being undertaken through Jamaica Moves, among other programmes, to combat non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

• As at August 31, a total of 8,497 girls had received the first dose of HPV vaccine (7,420 doses given for cohort 1 and 1,077 doses for cohort 2).

• Vaccination of the second cohort of girls started in July 2018, during school medicals and orientation sessions.

• The public health team visited approximately 184 schools for cohort one and 89 schools, so far, for cohort two.

Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality
• Ground was broken for the construction of High Dependency Units (HDUs) at Bustamante Hospital for Children; Victoria Jubilee and Kingston Public; St. Ann’s Bay; and Spanish Town Hospitals.

• Six ambulances were purchased at a cost of $80 million, $95.5 million provided to equip the ambulances, and a neonatal unit constructed at the Mandeville Hospital.

• $13.2 million was committed to design four primary care centres at Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland; St. Jago Park, St. Catherine; Mandeville Comprehensive, Manchester and Annotto Bay, St. Mary, as well as two community hospitals at Alexandria, St. Ann and Chapelton, Clarendon.
• Doctors and nurses were trained to support the upgraded services at the health facilities.

• The European Union (EU) has committed to providing 22 million Euros for PROMAC.

Health Minister, Dr. the Hon Christopher Tufton (third left), breaks ground for construction of Neo-natal and Maternal High Dependency Units (HDUs) at the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital. Also participating (from left) are Director General, Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Wayne Henry; Head, European Union Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska; Ambassador of Belgium, His Excellency Guy Sevrin; Ambassador of France, His Excellency Jean-Michel Despax; and Head of M & M Jamaica Limited, Don Mullings. The project is being funded by the EU at a cost of $230 million.

 

Enhanced Vector Control Programme

• The Vector Control Programme was launched with the aim of stemming the possibility of an outbreak of an arbovirus.

• 560 persons were employed in the first phase between July and September and 330 in the second phase between October and December. The workers were strategically placed in select communities to distribute educational material and undertake mosquito search and destroy actions.

• A new Mosquito Control and Research Unit (MCRU) was opened to conduct research aimed at improving interventions that will reduce the impact of arboviruses on the population.

• Work started on establishing an early warning system to detect increases in arbovirus transmission.

Health Minister, Dr. the Hon Christopher Tufton (second right), treats a water drum for mosquito larvae, during a tour of the Gregory Park community in Portmore, St. Catherine. Looking on are Chief Public Health Inspector for St. Catherine, Grayson Hutchinson (right), and larvicidal workers from the Ministry.