KINGSTON — Private sector companies are being urged to partner with the Government to address the needs of the nation's health institutions.
General Manager, Consumer Division, Lasco Distributors Limited, Peter Chin made the call at the media launch of International Nurses Day and Nurses Week 2011, held at the Terra Nova Hotel, yesterday. International Nurses Day is celebrated under the theme: ‘Closing the gap: increasing access and equity’.
He further noted that the Jamaica Diaspora can also play a significant role in assisting with some of the country’s health care delivery challenges.
“Let us be mindful that Jamaica still has a far way to go in making the provision of healthcare more equitable and accessible to all. The health of our population determines the overall productivity of our nation, so it is important that we provide the right health information and the right access to health care at all times for our people,” Mr. Chin said.
He also recommended that health fairs be initiated in remote areas, so as to provide screening and treatment for chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.
The General Manager commended the nurses for their outstanding humanitarian service and professionalism. “International Nurses Day (May 12) is a fitting time for me to applaud all Jamaican nurses for their ongoing dedication to the people of Jamaica and the nursing profession,” Mr. Chin said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), Lyttleton Shirley said the nursing profession stands as the epitome of health care, not only in Jamaica, but around the world.
“This recognition is bound by the great deeds of sacrifice, love, dedication and professionalism that our nurses have given to health services across the length and breadth of Jamaica over the years,” Mr. Lyttleton said.
He further noted that there is a need to fully understand the challenges which exist within the health sector. “Our nurses have to be prepared to meet these challenges head on, but they cannot do it alone, they must have the protection of our government and our private sector. The role of our nurses is pivotal to the direction in which our policies are made. These policies must ensure that we fill the gap between those who can and those who cannot afford health care services,” Mr. Lyttleton said.
President of the Nurses Association of Jamaica, Anthonette Patterson, noted that the theme of International Nurses Day comes at a strategic time when government and people worldwide seek partnerships and collaborations.
“In an era when the government (has abolished) user fees in an attempt to make health care more accessible and equitable, where international assistance is being pursued to assist in the delivery of care, I urge you my nurses to stay focus and think widely on the theme before you. We must become part of the process of closing the gap. Let us encourage our stakeholders to take responsibility for their health, and continue to impress on the policy heads to make health care accessible and equitable,” Miss Patterson said.
National Nurses Week will be observed from July 17 to 23.
By LATONYA LINTON, JIS Reporter