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Registration for the new Government of Jamaica (GoJ) health card will begin on September 1 for the roll-out of the programme by October 1.
Health Minister, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, made the announcement on Thursday (Aug.13) at the official opening of the Lesma Johnston prenatal and post natal care wing at the Brown’s Town Health Centre in St. Ann.
The health card will allow persons with prescriptions from public health facilities to access medication on the Ministry’s Vital, Essential and Necessary (VEN) list at no cost.
The service is being undertaken by the Ministry in partnership with the National Health Fund (NHF), and will be available at public sector and selected private sector pharmacies island wide.
Minister Spencer informed that some 173 medications were on the VEN list and recommendations are being made for other drugs to be added.
The Minister, in the meantime, said that the opening of the Lesma Johnston wing will go a far way in improving the quality of health care provided for mothers and babies in Brown’s Town.
“Jamaica must scale up efforts to address the areas of infant and maternal mortality as we seek to improve our performance in these two Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” he said.
He noted that while “it will take considerably, more than improved accommodation to reduce our mortality rates in these areas, we want to ensure that mothers do not develop negative health-seeking behaviours because of poor accommodation at facilities.”
Minister Spencer commended the efforts of the Member of Parliament for Northwest St. Ann, Othniel Lawrence on the project and urged community members to take care of the facility.

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