JIS News

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  • Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, says the Government is looking at amending the Mental Health Act in order to improve service delivery in this area.
  • He said the proposed changes will address, among other things, the treatment of mentally challenged persons, and make provisions for institutional strengthening.
  • The Minister, who was addressing the health plenary session of the Jamaica Diaspora Conference on Tuesday (June 17), pointed to a year-end timeline target for the commencement of the supporting groundwork for the legislative amendments.

Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, says the Government is looking at amending the Mental Health Act in order to improve service delivery in this area.

He said the proposed changes will address, among other things, the treatment of mentally challenged persons, and make provisions for institutional strengthening.

The Minister, who was addressing the health plenary session of the Jamaica Diaspora Conference on Tuesday (June 17), pointed to a year-end timeline target for the commencement of the supporting groundwork for the legislative amendments.

“We should have, at least, had a Cabinet submission, and the Chief Parliamentary Counsel would have been instructed in relation to those amendments,” he informed.

He said that consultations are being held with sector stakeholders, to determine how best mental health services can be delivered through structured community health care programmes, rather than institutionalised treatment of clients.

He also advised that the Ministry’s mental health programme is expected to be further boosted with the acquisition of two ambulances, slated for delivery next week.

The health plenary, under the theme: ‘Jamaica and the Diaspora: Partnership for Health Transformation’, was sponsored by Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS).

It was part of the Sixth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference being held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James from June 13 to 18, under the theme: ‘Jamaica and the Diaspora: Linking for Growth and Prosperity’.