JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says a technical assessment is to be undertaken of the St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Andrew with a view to transforming the facility into a centre of excellence.
  • “We’re looking at oncology. There has been significant investment in a linear accelerator, which deals with cancer treatment. That facility is being installed and we will have to build around that in order to facilitate additional support services and that technical work will be done during the course of this year,” he indicated.
  • Over the three days, participants will examine topics related to the surgical management of obesity; acute vs. chronic renal disease; new hypertension guidelines and chronic heart failure in 2017, among others.

Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says a technical assessment is to be undertaken of the St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Andrew with a view to transforming the facility into a centre of excellence.

He said the assessment will be done during the 2017/18 financial year. Dr. Tufton informed that land space is available to facilitate the upgrading of the 24-bed general hospital to enable it to handle certain specialist services.

“We’re looking at oncology. There has been significant investment in a linear accelerator, which deals with cancer treatment. That facility is being installed and we will have to build around that in order to facilitate additional support services and that technical work will be done during the course of this year,” he indicated.

Dr. Tufton was speaking to JIS News at Friday’s (June 30) opening of a three-day internal medicine review conference at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

Internal medicine is the branch of medicine dedicated to the diagnosis and medical treatment of adults.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton said the 10-year strategic review plan, which he announced during the 2016/17 Sectoral Debate, is being carried out by the Ministry.

“When it is completed, it will give us a more structured and methodical approach to addressing concerns we currently have and will likely have in the future regarding the population,” he pointed out.

The objective of the plan is to strengthen strategic development planning for the health sector. It will focus on the continued roll-out of the Primary Healthcare Renewal Programme and tackle non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as part of an integrated health service delivery model.

Dr. Tufton emphasised the importance of the 10-year strategic review plan in dealing with NCDs, which, he noted, has had a significant impact on Jamaica and the wider Caribbean region.

“Issues related to heart disease, hypertension and stroke have significant costs. We have to improve capacity to deal with that. It is important for us to look at an approach to respond to NCDs. We have to look at what infrastructure and equipment (are necessary) to respond to the needs,” he said further.

The annually held conference is open to doctors, medical residents, nurses, students and other interested persons.

Over the three days, participants will examine topics related to the surgical management of obesity; acute vs. chronic renal disease; new hypertension guidelines and chronic heart failure in 2017, among others.