JIS News

As of May 28, children under the age of 18 years will receive free care at all government hospitals and health facilities, except the University Hospital of the West Indies.
Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, who made the announcement during her contribution to the 2007/08 Budget Debate in Gordon House yesterday (May 1), noted that the move will also apply to beneficiaries under the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).
“We must take care of our most vulnerable family members. We have to help the children, the weak, the elderly and the disabled,” she stated. Mrs. Simpson Miller pointed out that children and adolescents make up more than a third of the population and were vulnerable to communicable and chronic diseases, as well as accidents and violence-related injuries.
In the meanwhile, the Prime Minister mentioned the setting up of a child and adolescent hospital in Western Jamaica, with the first phase of the project already underway.
The facility, she said, will address the needs of adolescents, especially those who suffer from chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and sickle cell.
“I want to see a modern, well-equipped hospital that meets the needs of children and adolescents, who depend on the public health services,”Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
According to the Prime Minister, the government has “endeavoured to be responsive to the needs of our people, even in the quest for economic growth and fiscal responsibility. Of course, there is more work to be done to deliver the first class health care that our people deserve.”

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