The Ministry of Health and Wellness has now completed the construction of four high-dependency units (HDUs) under the Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC) at a cost of some $1.5 billion.
“With these HDUs, PROMAC has provided Jamaica with 48 high-dependency spaces, some 38 new high-dependency beds and 10 new isolation suites, specifically for pregnant women and their newborns,” said Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, during his contribution to the 2020/21 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 7.
He noted that these are in addition to the procurement of six ambulances and the purchase of radiographic, ultrasound equipment and some 150 midwifery bags to enhance the quality of primary care and improve the referral system, to the tune of $187.6 million.
“We have also trained some 230 doctors and nurses in specialised programmes, including paediatric medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, as well as anaesthesia and intensive care,” Dr. Tufton said.
Financed through grant funding from the European Union (EU), PROMAC has not only enabled the Government to improve facilities for maternal and child health across the island but has also been instrumental in the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) fight, through the provision of critical equipment, including ventilators.
“These ventilators and other equipment, valued at $622 million, have been deployed to our hospitals to increase the number of HDU and ICU (intensive care unit) spaces. These facilities are in preparation for the reality that we are not yet out of the woods. COVID is still a threat, but we are putting the infrastructure in place to confront and to minimise that threat with the support of the Jamaican people,” Dr. Tufton said.