Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the Government is grateful for the invaluable support from corporate Jamaica and citizens here and overseas in the improvement of the island’s healthcare system.
He cited, among other initiatives, the near $34-million contribution from the Issa Trust Foundation for the renovation of the Paediatric Ward at the St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital, and the Adopt-a-Clinic initiative being undertaken by the United Kingdom diaspora.
“I want to place on record our appreciation for these acts of goodwill to Jamaica. The truth is that Government can’t do everything; and this is not an excuse, it is a reality, particularly as it relates to public health, as the demand on the system keeps getting more and more,” he noted.
Dr. Tufton was delivering the keynote address at the official opening of the renovated Paediatric Ward on March 22. He commended the Issa Trust Foundation for its significant support.
Such acts of kindness, he said, affirm that “healthcare is indeed a family event” and also send an important message that public health is everybody’s business.
“Indeed, the statistics here in Jamaica suggest that up to 99 per cent of our population have to interface with the public health system… even just to stabilise a bad situation. It is indeed a family, community and national event,” he noted.
Dr. Tufton said that the Adopt-a-Clinic initiative is a new approach to soliciting community engagement in taking over primary healthcare facilities and supporting Government’s efforts to enhance service delivery at these facilities.
Approximately 100 primary-healthcare facilities are being targeted under the programme, launched last year by the Jamaica 55 Charities Group UK.
The diaspora group has already raised $5 million for the adoption of at least five clinics across the island.
The Enfield Health Centre in St. Mary become the first primary-care facility to benefit, with the Minister presenting a cheque for $1 million to the management of the facility on February 22.
The Elderslie Health Centre in St. Elizabeth is also slated to receive a donation.
“We will see significant acts of kindness and support to public health, and I am truly proud of this nation state called Jamaica and the kind-heartedness of the Jamaican people as it relates to giving back to our country and our country’s development,” Dr. Tufton said