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Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, says that the management of the health sector must change and adapt to new priorities.

Minister of Health, the Hon Rudyard Spencer

“There needs to be a shift in how we manage the business of health. It is a business and we need to manage it as such,” Mr. Spencer told a three-day Ministry Retreat at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort and Spa in Ocho Rios, St. Ann which started on Wednesday (June 30).
“I hope that some time will be spent in these three days to give some consideration to how we can improve the management of the health sector, and that is going to detain us for some while,” Mr. Spencer said.
The theme of the retreat, ‘Positioning for Growth: the National Health Agenda’, which underscored the inextricable link between health and the country’s development agenda.
He noted that Jamaica’s National Development Plan, Vision 2030, advanced an agenda to strengthen health systems, provide the enabling environment for a more effective inter-sectoral collaboration, broaden access to health services, especially for the poor, and place more emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention.
“This Government has sought to respond to the national agenda by establishing the priorities that would move Jamaica closer to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals,” Mr. Spencer said, noting that unity in understanding the priorities was of paramount importance in the forward move and positive growth in the sector.
He encouraged participants to make the best of the retreat, so that in the end the objectives of the forum would be met.
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Jean Dixon said the objectives of the retreat were very specific.
“At the end of the three days we are expected to have a clear understanding of the Ministry’s priorities, know the status of the priorities, achieve greater clarity on the reporting and functional relationships between the Ministry and the Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) and define a way forward to ensure the successful implementation of our mandate,” Dr. Dixon said.
Turning to the programme for the retreat, she noted that it was arranged around four themes namely, The Health Status of the Nation, Strengthening Health Care Delivery, Structure and Governance, and Managing Health as a Business.
“The topics under these four themes will focus our attention on the critical areas of the health service. We expect very full and robust discussions from all of the participants in all of the sessions,” she concluded.