JIS News

Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer will be opening the social policy section of the sectoral debate in parliament on Tuesday, September 21, 2010. In his opening presentation, Minister Spencer will be examining the broad social policy framework of the country.
Speaking under the theme: ‘Positioning for Growth: The National Health Agenda’, the Minister’s presentation will cover a number of areas of health care in Jamaica. These include steps taken to increase affordability and access to health care; primary health care renewal; cost saving and cost reduction initiatives; expansion of critical health services; restructuring of the health sector; performance of health programmes and Jamaica’s performance in the Millennium Development Goals among other areas.
During the last fiscal year the Ministry of Health continued its programme of broadening access to health care and addressing the age old challenges of procuring and retaining health workers. The Ministry benefited from a number of bilateral agreements with the Spanish and Cuban Governments as well as Medical Missions out of the United Kingdom and the United States.
During the year the Ministry utilized a creative procurement strategy for pharmaceutical preparations that resulted in significant savings.
At a retreat held from June 30 to July 2, 2010, Officials of the Health Ministry examined a number of issues including the status of the health of the nation, ways to strengthen health care delivery, the restructuring of the Ministry and governance issues and considered ways to improve the management of the health sector.
Several positive recommendations were made in these areas as well as methods to reduce costs associated with the use of medical gases, medical waste management and improving ambulatory and transport services.
The Health Minister’s presentation comes on the eve of his departure to Washington to attend the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Directing Council. While there he is expected to hold discussions with PAHO Director, Dr. Mirta Roses Periago on matters pertaining to PAHO/WHO’s continued support for critical health programmes in Jamaica.
Minister Spencer will be hosting his post sectoral press briefing on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at the Jamaica Conference Centre. At that time he will provide clarification of issues and elaborate on points raised in his presentation.

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