JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The National Health Fund (NHF) is reporting that since it began the phased management of public pharmacies at the nation’s hospitals, the waiting time for patients has been reduced.
  • As of Monday, June 30, the management of the pharmacy at the Percy Junor Hospital in Clarendon has been turned over to the NHF.
  • CEO at the NHF, Everton Anderson, told JIS News that Information and Communications Technology (ICT), is being used to provide efficiency in the system.

The National Health Fund (NHF) is reporting that since it began the phased management of public pharmacies at the nation’s hospitals, the waiting time for patients has been reduced.

As of Monday, June 30, the management of the pharmacy at the Percy Junor Hospital in Clarendon has been turned over to the NHF.

The pharmacies at the Bustamante Hospital for Children and the Port Maria Hospital were recently placed under the management of the NHF.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the NHF, Everton Anderson, told JIS News that Information and Communications Technology (ICT), is being used to provide efficiency in the system.

“We are using ICT as a driver for the pharmacy service. The Bustamante Hospital for Children averaged 3,100 patients per month, and we are now seeing over 5,000 patients per month, with reduced waiting time,” Mr. Anderson said, while speaking on the JIS Issues and Answers programme.

Implementation of the NHF’s management of pharmacies in the public health system is to be done over 12 to 24 months, and the CEO said it is being done in a phased and careful manner, so that all the personnel involved can be knowledgeable about the new direction.

“Through the pharmacy management system that we are implementing, we will be able to manage our inventory properly, and we will be able to account for our pharmaceuticals on a system-wide basis. If there is a shortage of a drug in one parish, we will be able to immediately identify where that drug is, and move drugs around for the benefit of the patients,” Mr. Anderson explained.

Emphasising that the change will result in savings and efficiency in the system, Mr. Anderson said that, “we are moving in strategically across all hospitals, working closely with the staff to ensure an orderly and efficient transition.”

The NHF has 360,000 beneficiaries on programmes covering 15 chronic illnesses. Last year it approved 3.5 million claims at a cost of $3.4 billion. The agency also manages the Jamaica Drug for the Elderly Programme (JADEP), with 250,000 beneficiaries, for which it approved 400,000 claims last year.