Health Ministry Gearing for Implementation of New Policy on April 1


To ensure the smooth implementation of the elimination of user health fees at public health facilities on April 1, the Health Ministry has established implementation teams, has put in place a command centre, and has been training front line members of staff.
This was stated by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Grace Allen-Young, at a workshop to sensitize regional representatives about the new policy by the Government, at the Medallion Hall Hotel in Kingston, today (March 13).
She also pointed out that there would be flexi-opening hours at some primary health care facilities.Health care workers will also be trained to manage queries from staff and patients about the policy. “We have been sensitizing our key stakeholders. we’ve also been sensitizing our professional team, our doctors, nurses radiographers, pharmacists, med techs.and we’re going to redeploy some staff,” the Permanent Secretary informed.
She said that the cashier’s role would be extended to include customer service, in order to strengthen that arm of the public health sector.
“We’re not going to need you to collect money, but we’re going to need you to be the face, the hands, the voice, the direction to the clients, so that they’ll know what to do, where to go; you’ll be able to guide them,” Mrs. Allen-Young said.
The Permanent Secretary said steps would be taken to provide physical infrastructure that would ensure the comfort of clients.
The following services will now be free at all public health facilities, except the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI): registration; doctor’s examination; surgeries; medications; diagnostic services; haematology; services for mothers and children, including family planning and pregnancy tests; ambulance service; physiotherapy; blood transfusions and laboratory tests.
The Permanent Secretary pointed out that this move by the administration was a commitment, “to provide unrestricted access to basic health services.”Mrs. Allen-Young said that Jamaica was one of the leaders in the world, in the provision of quality primary health care.
This, she said, has been accomplished, despite the challenges in the health sector. “We’re ranked among the best in quality care at a low cost. Our health indices mirror those of developed countries,” the Permanent Secretary said.

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