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JIS News

Minister of Health, Horace Dalley, has said that a review of the regional health authorities was being undertaken, to assess whether they were serving the purposes for which they were created, including the reduction of bureaucracy within the health service.
Mr. Dalley, who was speaking to JIS News, said that while he supported the decentralization of the health services, he was not satisfied that the regional health authorities were working as intended by the government.
“I am in full support of the decentralization but what I am finding as the new Minister of Health, is bureaucracy on top of bureaucracy, and that was not the original idea,” he stated.
According to the Health Minister, the intention of the decentralization of the health sector, which led to establishment of the regional health authorities, was to “ensure that the regions, the senior medical officers, our nurses and all the persons in the field of health in the various parishes, could relate closer to the activities in the regions.”
“We did not intend to add more bureaucracy on top of bureaucracy. We wanted to have more efficiency, we wanted to have better management at the local level, we wanted to have better financial control at the local level, and I must say, I have seen some very serious challenges, which I have to correct,” he told JIS News.
He identified maintenance, human resources issues such as appointments, and the implementation of special projects, as major challenges within the regional health authorities.
The Health Minister said his goal was to achieve greater efficiency in the health system by working very closely with the respective regional boards, the Permanent Secretary in the Health Ministry and the Chief Medical Officers.
He said he also intended to work closely with the human resource officers, principal financial officers and he would be emphasizing training as an essential component of the system.
“And, if we have to change some structures, we just change some structures, but we won’t abolish the regions,” he stated.
Mr. Dalley further noted that “there was need to respond more quickly to the demands within the health sector”.