JIS News

Vice Chairman of the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA), Dave Morrison, has commended registered nurses for their role in the health sector.
“Nurses have always been at the forefront of health care in this country, and we will utilise any opportunity we get to show them how much we appreciate them. Your unwavering dedication is something to be proud of,” Mr. Morrison said.
He was speaking on behalf of the Minister of Health, Hon Rudyard Spencer, at opening of the 63rd Annual General Meeting and 39th Island Conference of the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ). The Conference is being held at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort in Ocho Rios, under the theme, “Delivering Quality Care, Serving Community: Nurses Leading Care Innovations”.
“Quality healthcare overall, and with special emphasis on healthcare at the community level, has been and will continue to be the major focus of the Government,” Mr. Morrison said.
He said that the removal of user fees has led to an increase in health seeking behaviour among Jamaicans. During the year prior to the abolition of the user fees, April 2007- March 2008, 809,925 persons visited the Accident and Emergency Departments of public hospitals, compared to 904,726 persons between April 2008 and March 2009.
“This represents an 11% increase in the total number of visits over the period, across all public hospitals. In addition, preliminary figures show that health centre visits moved from just over 1.48 million to 1.8 million, representing a 17.4% increase in the abolition year,” he said.
In response to the increase of patient utilisation, he said that improvement work had begun on a number of health centres, and ground broken for the construction of new facilities, so that persons can be encouraged to seek treatment at the primary healthcare level before reporting to the hospitals.
“In support of this, we have extended opening hours for some health centres, and provided additional waiting areas at public health facilities to accommodate the increased patient load,” he said.
“We know that this increase in patient visits will clearly result in additional burden on our existing cadre of healthcare workers, and we ask you to bear with us until we are able to adequately address the situation,” he pleaded.
The conference is expected to conclude on Sunday (October 11).

Skip to content