JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Health will be developing a national policy that outlines the country’s road map towards the accreditation of facilities within the sector.
  • Under the initiative, Jamaica will partner with Accreditation Canada to strengthen and standardise health-sector assurance in the island.
  • The Minister added that Jamaica and Canada share a long relationship at the interpersonal and diplomatic level, and anticipates that this will be further strengthened through the partnership.

The Ministry of Health will be developing a national policy that outlines the country’s road map towards the accreditation of facilities within the sector.

The initiative, titled a ‘National Policy on Health Sector Quality Assurance’, will form part of the Ministry’s 10-year strategic plan.

This was disclosed by Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, in a message read by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry,  Elaine Foster Allen, during a cocktail reception to mark Jamaica’s formal commitment to the Quality Assurance for the Health Sector towards Accreditation Initiative, at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston on Tuesday, September 20.

Under the initiative, Jamaica will partner with Accreditation Canada to strengthen and standardise health-sector assurance in the island.

Dr, Tufton indicated that Accreditation Canada “will help us to hold ourselves more accountable to the people of Jamaica”.

He noted, however, that this will not be “an overnight venture”, adding that stakeholder inputs were vital to the process.

The Minister added that Jamaica and Canada share a long relationship at the interpersonal and diplomatic level, and anticipates that this will be further strengthened through the partnership.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton said the Government remains committed to maintaining a high quality of service delivery that will facilitate greater consistency in the monitoring and evaluation of health facilities.

“In response to one major issue of waiting time, we have sought to reduce this for our patients by expanding the hours of six heavily trafficked health centres that are in proximity to hospitals,” he said.

The Minister further noted that pharmacy services have been expanded to enable easier and greater access to essential medication by patients.

Dr. Tufton said subsidies have been increased on pharmaceuticals, respiratory devices and diabetic supplies by 100 per cent for children zero to 18 years old through the National Health Fund (NHF).

“We have continued to advance our technology in health, which allows for greater efficiency. We continue through partnerships to facilitate capacity-building of our staff in specialised areas,” he said.

Dr. Tufton said the Ministry has also embarked on the SMART HOSPITAL initiative which targets measures being taken by health facilities to reduce the risk of the impact of climate change on structures and operations.

“The Ministry of Health has, therefore, been on a journey to improve the quality of service it offers. Our healthcare providers and our health programmes continue to be recognised internationally for the positive contribution to health in Jamaica. Yet we want to take our services to another level,” he said.

Accreditation Canada, through its standards and accreditation programmes, works with healthcare organisations to help them improve quality, safety, and efficiency so they can offer patients the best possible care and service.