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The Ministry of Health has issued a release advising the public that no crisis is impending at the Spanish Town Hospital, with the expiration of contracts of Senior House Officers.
The release, issued following a meeting between Minister of Health, the Hon Rudyard Spencer, and representatives of the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), stated:
“The Ministry of Health wishes to advise the public that there is no impending crisis at the Spanish Town Hospital, as a result of the end of the current tenure of Senior House Officers as new officers will replace those who have completed the Senior House Officers’ programme.
“This assurance is being given by Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, who convened a meeting with representatives of the South East Regional Health Authority and senior technocrats of the Health Ministry this morning (Tuesday, December 29, 2009) to discuss the matter of the expiration of the contracts of Senior House Officers attached to the Spanish Town Hospital.
“The Ministry of Health operates a twelve month Senior House Officers’ programme that provides the opportunity for medical doctors, who have successfully completed their internship, to hone their skills in specific areas of medicine. This post internship programme commences July 1 each year to coincide with the completion of the general internship programme for medical graduates.
“This opportunity is extended to certain medics who have studied abroad but wish to work in the public health sector in Jamaica, as well as to medical graduates of the University of the West Indies who, for one reason or another, were unable to begin the programme in July.
“The policy of the Ministry of Health is that senior house officers whose engagement ends, and who wish to be employed in the public health system, are required to formally make an application and go through a selection process. This policy applies to those officers, including those at the Spanish Town Hospital whose post internship programme ends December 31, 2009.
“The South East Regional Health Authority, which has responsibility for the management of human resources in the parishes of Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Thomas and St. Catherine, is required to consider any such application, manage the selection process and make the relevant decision in keeping with the demands of the system. The Region also has the authority to deploy health professionals to ensure that service delivery is not compromised.”

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