JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Contracts valued at $243 million have been approved for the provision of various services aimed at expanding and improving the quality of care for premature infants and high-risk pregnant women.
  • The money is being provided under the $2.8 billion (€22 million) Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC), funded by the European Union (EU), which is aimed at reducing the incidence of neonatal and maternal deaths.
  • The Health Minister noted that training of doctors and nurses is also being done to support the upgraded services, adding that a total of 21 candidates are to be trained over the next few years in neonatology, maternal foetal medicine, and critical care.

Contracts valued at $243 million have been approved for the provision of various services aimed at expanding and improving the quality of care for premature infants and high-risk pregnant women.

The money is being provided under the $2.8 billion (€22 million) Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC), funded by the European Union (EU), which is aimed at reducing the incidence of neonatal and maternal deaths.

Addressing a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kingston yesterday (Oct. 20), Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, said an official contract signing ceremony is scheduled to take place on November 3.

Giving a breakdown of the awards, he informed a $36.5 million contract will be signed for the design of maternal and neonatal high dependency units (HDUs) at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, and the Spanish Town and St. Ann’s Bay Regional hospitals; and just over $27 million for the design of HDUs at Victoria Jubilee, Mandeville Regional and Cornwall Regional Hospitals.

Also, $85.5 million will be awarded for the purchase of six ambulances; $66.4 million to procure ambulances and equipment for Mandeville Regional Hospital’s neonatal HDU; $13.53 million for design services for four primary care centres – Savanna-la-Mar, St. Jago Park, Mandeville, Comprehensive and Annotto Bay; and two community hospitals – Alexandria and Chapelton; and $13.52 million for testing equipment for the HDUs.

Dr. Ferguson said the Ministry is also making the necessary arrangements to procure equipment for 10 remaining HDUs at a cost of $358.5 million.

The Health Minister noted that training of doctors and nurses is also being done to support the upgraded services, adding that a total of 21 candidates are to be trained over the next few years in neonatology, maternal foetal medicine, and critical care.

“Fellowships, involving seven candidates, are already underway at the University of the West Indies. We also completed in-service training for the first cohort of 25 nurses for neonatology and 32 for critical care in April 2015. The second cohort for neonatology, involving 22 nurses, commenced training in October 2015,” he informed.

Dr. Ferguson thanked the EU for investing in the project, noting that the organisation is a key partner “in enhancing health care and have provided the biggest grant ever to the sector.”

This component of the project seeks to create a total of 45 beds in neonatal HDUs at the Cornwall Regional, Mandeville Regional, St. Ann’s Bay Regional, Spanish Town and the Victoria Jubilee Hospitals as well as the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

It also seeks to increase the capacity of obstetric HDUs in the four referral regional hospitals and at Victoria Jubilee, for a total of 23 beds.

Additionally, it includes the rehabilitation of the entire delivery area and the maternal-foetal clinic at Victoria Jubilee.