JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government has committed more than $4 billion to upgrade health facilities in St. Catherine, with $3 billion earmarked for expansion of the Spanish Town Hospital.
  • Making the disclosure, Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said the developments will be undertaken over the next three to four years.
  • He said that the investment is the largest in the parish in decades and will “fill existing gaps”.

The Government has committed more than $4 billion to upgrade health facilities in St. Catherine, with $3 billion earmarked for expansion of the Spanish Town Hospital.

Making the disclosure, Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said the developments will be undertaken over the next three to four years.

He said that the investment is the largest in the parish in decades and will “fill existing gaps”.

At Spanish Town Hospital, the expenditure will go towards the provision of additional beds and operating theatres, the expansion of waiting areas, and increasing medical and other personnel.

“We are going to be embarking on a programme to right-size the facility in order to better cater to the population,” the Minister said, while speaking at the handover of an ultrasound machine at the hospital on Wednesday (May 29).

Dr. Tufton said health centres across the parish will also be upgraded in keeping with the focus on primary healthcare.

The Greater Portmore Health Centre will be expanded at a cost of $344 million; Old Harbour Health Centre, $489 million; and the St. Jago Health Centre, $317 million.

Turning to the partnership with private-sector entities to provide certain health services, Dr. Tufton said that the measure is temporary, noting that the Administration is committed to strengthening the public system, so that citizens can have quality access.

The Minister, in the 2019/20 Sectoral presentation earlier this month, announced the outsourcing of some services such as surgeries and diagnostic tests as part of a $1-billion programme to reduce waiting time within the public health system.