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MANDEVILLE — The Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA) has launched a customer service hotline, as it moves to improve client relations and enhance service delivery at health facilities within the region.

Regional Technical Director at SRHA, Dr. Michael Coombs, speaking at the launch held at the organisation’s head office in Mandeville on Thursday (June 16), explained that through the hotline, clients will be able to register complaints or compliments regarding service received.

The calls, he said, will be recorded and passed on to senior management for action. There will be follow-ups to ensure that matters are effectively handled.

According to Dr. Coombs, SRHA is committed to the highest standards of service in keeping with its customer service charter.

“The Southern Regional Health Authority, through its facilities, commits to providing quality health care in a clean, safe, comfortable environment through competent and courteous health care providers,” he informed, noting that four facilities within the region have also unveiled charters.

He declared that SRHA is not prepared to accept professional misconduct and rude behaviour from its staff. “Patients or their families can be demanding and disrespectful themselves, we see it all the time, but I suggest that the true mark of a healthcare professional is not to fight fire with fire,” Dr. Coombs stated.

Director at SRHA, Keith Shakespeare, opined that much of the negative perceptions of the public health system come about through misunderstanding. He said that the launch of the hotline, “is demonstrating that we aim to be efficient and effective in communicating with our clients, and it is hoped that this hotline will lead to substantial improvement in our customer relations.”

Meanwhile, Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, in a speech read by board member of SRHA, Councillor Winston Maragh, stated that the hotline is in keeping with the Ministry’s drive to maintain a high level of customer service delivery in the public health system. He said it will provide an avenue for the general public to suggest ways in which improvements can be made.

“We welcome such suggestions as we continue to ensure that we provide for the holistic health needs of the people of Jamaica. Let us remember that we are offering a service and the experience of our clients determines the reputation of the entire health sector. Every person deserves adequate care and support; this is our priority, as the needs of the clients come first,” the Minister stressed.

SRHA serves the parishes of St. Elizabeth, Manchester and Clarendon, and parts of St. Ann, and St. Catherine. The hotline numbers are: 625-2110 and 618-1714-5.

 

By GARFIELD L. ANGUS, JIS Reporter