Jamaicans Urged to Take Personal Responsibility for Health and Wellness

Story Highlights

  • Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says discussions surrounding the challenges impacting personal health and wellness must focus on the root cause, with a view to decisively addressing these factors.
  • “It (must be) about how we take responsibility for ourselves, our brothers, sisters, communities and our families,” he emphasized.
  • Dr. Tufton noted that last year, there was a seven percent decline in accident and emergency ward admissions, and a 20 percent increase in the number of individuals visiting health centres, citing this as a shift in persons’ focus from curative to preventative healthcare.

Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says discussions surrounding the challenges impacting personal health and wellness must focus on the root cause, with a view to decisively addressing these factors.

“It (must be) about how we take responsibility for ourselves, our brothers, sisters, communities and our families,” he emphasized.

The Minister was speaking at last Thursday’s (May 3) presentation of medical equipment and supplies, valued US$40,000, to the May Pen Hospital in Clarendon by bauxite company, JAMALCO.

Dr. Tufton noted that last year, there was a seven percent decline in accident and emergency ward admissions, and a 20 percent increase in the number of individuals visiting health centres, citing this as a shift in persons’ focus from curative to preventative healthcare.

The Minister said he is encouraged by this, as it would greatly help persons to recognise their role in the general thrust of safeguarding their health and wellness, as also opting for preventative measures, which he contended will yield significant long-term dividends.

Against this background, Dr. Tufton encouraged persons to take responsibility for their personal health and well-being.

He also urged well-thinking Jamaicans to speak out against pervasive negative behaviour impacting the society that continues to result in tragedies which place a heavy toll on the country’s health resources.

“If we ignore the consequences of our aggression as a society, there is no Minister or Government that is going to be in a position to (effectively) respond to a situation (like) that,” Dr. Tufton contended.

Meanwhile JAMALCO’s Managing Director, Austin Mooney, welcomed the opportunity afforded the company to partner with the Health Ministry, Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA), and associated stakeholders in Manchester and Clarendon which, among other things, facilitated the firm’s donation to the May Pen Hospital.

The provisions included: hand drills; emergency patient stretcher trolleys; four orthopaedic beds and mattresses; 31 pieces of orthopaedic equipment and accompanying accessories; and two pelvic reduction clamps.

These are among expenditure totaling US$80,000 that have made since 2016, to provide the hospital with wide-ranging inputs.

“We are confident that the medical supplies and equipment we are donating will go a long way in helping to strengthen health care delivery for residents in the parishes in which we operate,” he said.

The Managing Director further stated that JAMALCO is cognizant of the constraints impacting the public health care system, including tight budgets and heavy demand for services.

“This donation demonstrates our commitment to treat the communities in which we operate with respect and support their sustainable development,” Mr. Mooney added.

Country Manager for the Noble Group, a major shareholder in JAMALCO, Roy Marsh, also expressed pleasure at the opportunity to assist in improving public health facilities, and the quality of service delivery.

The Noble Foundation has, over the past four years, provided approximately J$28 million in funding support to help strengthen the health care system and raise the operational standards of several medical facilities across central Jamaica.

These inputs include: upgrading of the Raymonds, Mile Gully and Pratville health centres; refurbishing of the Manchester Infirmary; and purchasing supplies and equipment for the SRHA.

“Today’s presentation of medical supplies (to the May Pen Hospital) will culminate our commitment of $9.6 million to the SRHA. We at the Noble Foundation are cognizant that health care in Jamaica is very costly and we believe that the donated items you received in 2016 and the ones you are receiving today will greatly assist in bolstering and, in some cases, help to alleviate the chronic shortage that exists at some of the health facilities,” Mr. Marsh said.

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