Member of Parliament for North West St. Ann, Dr. Dayton Campbell, has recommended that the Government increase the number of teaching hospitals across the island.
This, he said, is critical, as the country aims to attain first world health status and provide holistic care for nationals.
“Hospitals (that can) be targeted include Spanish Town, Mandeville Regional Hospital, St. Ann’s Bay Hospital and Cornwall Regional Hospital, making them into Type A facilities,” Dr. Campbell said.
He was making his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 21.
The MP, who is a physician, also recommended an increase in the number of candidates accepted to pursue higher medical training with emphasis placed on family medicine, in keeping with health sector reform.
He also noted that research should be done to determine the minimum acceptable standard of care for the health sector.
“This should be incorporated into the strategic plan of the (Health) Ministry. The suggestion is to set a standard for which we provide for the patient to absorb the cost for any additional treatment,” Dr. Campbell said.
He also stated his support for health sector reform where persons will seek routine care at primary health care facilities and will only be seen at hospital if they have an accident, emergency or a referral from the primary care facility.
The MP also pointed to the need for a strong and effective health promotion agenda to address the matter of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, cancers, and chronic respiratory conditions.
He said it is estimated that approximately eight per cent of the Jamaican population is being treated for diabetes at a cost of about $1.6 billion per annum.
Dr. Campbell argued that NCDs, if not managed properly, could place future generations at “extreme risk” and put a strain on areas such as education and entrepreneurship and reduce productivity.
Contact: Latonya Linton