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Minister of Health, Hon Rudyard Spencer, has commended the work of the National Health Fund (NHF) in advancing health care for Jamaicans.
“I want to place on record my tremendous appreciation for what the health fund is doing to advance the cause of health care for the Jamaican people. I am proud of the National Health Fund and you should be too,” Mr. Spencer said.
He was speaking on Wednesday (September 23) at a ceremony marking the start of the renovation and expansion of a facility at the Lionel Town Hospital, Clarendon, for the training of Dialysis and Pharmacy Technicians.
The Health Minister said the abolition of user fees has led more persons to seek prescription drugs, which has caused some problems in the health sector, as it was impractical for the existing staff to be serving significantly more people.
“More people accessing drugs, made it impossible for the same amount of drugs before to serve significantly more people and, against that background, there emerged some talks between the National Health Fund and myself,” he said.
He added that it was in that context that a team from the NHF, University of Technology (UTech) and himself visited Lionel Town Hospital and identified the building to house the training school.
Mr. Spencer said that the health sector in Jamaica has a serious shortage of Dialysis and Pharmacy Technicians, and it was out of that concern that the idea was born.
“If you have a shortage of people and you cannot get those people, the next best is to train those people, and we are going to do just that at Lionel Town Hospital. I am really fascinated because, having trained here for a year, these graduates can move on to develop a skill at the University of the West Indies or UTech,” he said.
The Health Minister also charged persons who have passes in CSEC subjects, to make use of the opportunity available at the training centre, and also called on the community to pass on the word about the facility.
The training programme for the technicians will be delivered by UTech, through two certificate courses at the technician level to over 100 participants who will be identified by the Ministry of Health.
Participants need five subjects in the Caribbean Secondary Examination (CSEC), inclusive of Mathematics, English and a Science subject.

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