The Full Story
Hundreds of new physician posts will be created in the health sector this year as the Government puts measures in place to strengthen healthcare delivery.
Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said that at the primary level, in excess of 100 new posts will be implemented and more than 600 at the secondary level.
“We are moving forward with our primary healthcare reform and have undertaken a detailed assessment of all the services offered in primary healthcare and the resources needed to carry out these services. This will give rise to a comprehensive workforce plan,” he said.
“We have already started to implement some of the results [and] well over 100 new physician posts will be implemented this year in primary care.
“We are doing the same with secondary care with a new documented Secondary Care Model, and over 600 new posts will be implemented in hospitals. Also, 250 posts have been created for specialist training,” he informed.
Dr. Tufton was addressing the 60th Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), held recently at the organisation’s headquarters in Washington DC.
He said that Jamaica has been proactive in addressing policies and putting strategic plans in place to ensure a fit-for-purpose workforce.
Dr. Tufton told the meeting that the island’s health services are being upgraded, with emphasis being placed on primary healthcare reform.
“A critical part of the renewal has been the creation of posts for specialists in internal medicine, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, general surgery, psychiatry and family medicine who will serve in primary care,” he noted.
Dr. Tufton said that while training plans are being developed for all types of healthcare workers, the matter of migration is also being addressed.
A recent study conducted by PAHO on ‘the Migration of Health Care Workers’ found that attrition among the health professionals studied was gradually increasing, mainly to the United States followed by the United Kingdom (UK).
The Health Minister noted that “Jamaica in addressing the increasing attrition of healthcare workers, has established a Technical Assistance Agreement with PAHO/WHO to assist in this area. Also, with the support of PAHO, we have developed a Strategic Plan for nursing and midwifery”.
“This is focused on strengthening nursing and midwifery in the areas of education, practice, jobs, and leadership. We know that nursing is most affected by migration. Elements of this Plan are geared towards addressing the mobility of the nursing and midwifery workforce,” Minister Tufton said.