Health Minister Outlines Vision for Sector


Minister of Health, John Junor has said that the government’s vision for the sector was one in which the system was client-centred, providing guaranteed access to quality health care for every person at reasonable costs, and taking into account the vulnerable among the country’s population.
He explained that the vision “is based on the concept of individuals taking responsibility for their own health and adopting healthy lifestyle habits, within a clean, healthy environment, where families and communities actively participate and are integrated into the system of health”.
The Minister was making his contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 11.
Mr. Junor said the government was committed to a health system that was goal oriented, all-inclusive, and equitable in treatment and access. He emphasised that the administration was intent on having a health care system “that delivers service of the highest quality and facilitates wellness.on the premise of the individual’s right to health information and ensuring that people have every opportunity to make informed choices that will determine health status”.
To achieve the objective of an improved health sector, Minister Junor told members of the House that “our collective goal must be to have individuals who can make responsible and reasonable choices on issues that affect their lives, regardless of whether it is health, education, economic pursuit or recreation”.
He pointed out that as the government moved towards meeting its goal of a better health care system, financing health care has been a significant challenge and the Ministry has had to devise innovative schemes to address the issues.
“While there are no easy solutions, one strategy that has worked and which continues to facilitate health care delivery is that of partnerships with our stakeholders,” he said, noting that it was particularly evident in the post-Hurricane Ivan period.
“One of our main assets has been the relationship with the World Health Organisation/Pan American Health Organisation and their link with the United Nations and other international sources of funding,” he pointed out.
The Minister revealed that last year, PAHO provided assistance amounting to $127 million, of which $45 million was for hurricane relief. The funds from PAHO assist with such programmes as immunisation, nutrition and breastfeeding, as well as public education health issues.
Mr. Junor said there were major increases in health service delivery from $9.7 billion in 2004 to $10.2 billion this year, and that children’s services also saw big increases for the current fiscal year, jumping to $850 million this year from $550 million.

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