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Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Health is looking to implement a volunteerism policy for the country’s public hospitals.
  • He said that volunteers, under the supervision of hospital staff, could perform services such as reading the newspapers.
  • The JCS is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation which was established in 1955 with a mandate to eliminate cancer as a major health problem in Jamaica.

The Ministry of Health is looking to implement a volunteerism policy for the country’s public hospitals.

Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said the aim is to facilitate compassionate care for patients who may be recuperating from surgeries, or need to spend long periods at hospital.

He said that volunteers, under the supervision of hospital staff, could perform services such as reading the newspapers.

Dr. Tufton was addressing the Annual General Meeting of the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) held on June 2 at the Guardian Life Centre in New Kingston.

He urged the JCS to partner with his Ministry to develop the policy.

“I believe that persons, who fall in that unfortunate group of cancer patients, are one of the more vulnerable groups that would benefit from such care,” he pointed out.

The Health Minister commended the JCS for 65 years of service to the country.

During 2015, the JCS screened 9,790 women for cervical cancer, representing a 14 percent increase. Of that number, eight percent were doing a Pap smear for the first time, while 58 percent were repeat patients.

There was a 61 percent increase in the number of men screened for prostate cancer, moving from 1,207 in 2014 to 1,946 in 2015.

The Minister noted that screening will result in the early detection of cancer, and improved treatment outcomes.

He also called for Jamaicans to make physical activity part of their daily routine in order to prevent certain illnesses.

The JCS is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation which was established in 1955 with a mandate to eliminate cancer as a major health problem in Jamaica.