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Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Health will be streamlining the process to make it easier for local and international charities to donate medical supplies.
  • Dr. Tufton said that increased personnel and improved coordination with entities, such as the Jamaica Customs Agency, will strengthen the support structures for charities.
  • Some 1,100 wheelchairs will be distributed to persons islandwide this year; 550 of which are now available with an additional 550 to be handed out later this year. A total of 2,200 wheelchairs have been distributed over the last four years.

The Ministry of Health will be streamlining the process to make it easier for local and international charities to donate medical supplies.

“Over the next couple of months, we will be strengthening the Secretariat which deals with charities and charitable activities in Jamaica, because too often persons want to do good, but hit roadblocks along the way,” Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton said.

The Minister was speaking at the annual Wheelchair Distribution launching ceremony on May 19, at the Bethel United Church of Jesus Christ in Kingston.

Dr. Tufton said that increased personnel and improved coordination with entities, such as the Jamaica Customs Agency, will strengthen the support structures for charities.

This is to be done through the Health for Life and Wellness Foundation, which coordinates the non-profit activities within the Jamaican health sector.

This programme, established in 2015, is being expanded to include infrastructure development activities.

The Minister said this is important, citing the significant contribution of charities in the development of the health sector.

“We have well over two hundred charities that are supporting the public health sector. The estimate is in the region of three to four billion dollars worth of value from persons who see the need and make the sacrifices for others to benefit,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton said the Government is developing a range of financing solutions to provide additional funding for the health sector. Among these are the formation of public and private sector partnerships, and the establishment of an insurance scheme.

The annual wheelchair distribution is spearheaded by the Errol Rattray Evangelistic Association, in partnership with the international non-profit organizations Free Wheelchair Mission and Ja’ Mobility, based in the United States, which provide wheelchairs free of cost to persons with mobile challenges.

Some 1,100 wheelchairs will be distributed to persons islandwide this year; 550 of which are now available with an additional 550 to be handed out later this year. A total of 2,200 wheelchairs have been distributed over the last four years.