JIS News

The Ministry of Health’s Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA) has reported total savings of some $12,340,000 in fiscal year 2005/2006 from a budget of $1.6 billion.
As outlined in a Ministry Paper tabled by Minister of Health, Horace Dalley, in the House of Representatives yesterday (Sept.13), the savings were realized from the implementation of Cost Reduction and Efficiency Committees in 2005.
According to the document, the committees, which were established at the parish level, were chaired by parish managers, who reviewed all aspects of operations with a view to reducing costs and improving efficiency.
The Ministry Paper detailed that savings of some $2.4 million was realized in transportation; $6.6 million saved on utilities; $800,000 saved on goods and services; $1.6 million saved on maintenance costs; $400,000 saved on bulk oxygen installation; with some $500,000 saved on staff and administrative expenses.
Improved efficiencies were also attained in terms of fee collection through the implementation of a patient billing and receivables system, which saw a two per cent increase in the collection of fees owed for health services in the region.
Although such a system was only implemented in the Mandeville Hospital for the period under review, this is significant, as 62,294 outpatient procedures were carried out in this hospital alone, which is some 50 per cent more patients than were treated in any other hospital in the Southern Region.
The Ministry Paper stated that “this system provides comprehensive financial and other pertinent information on each patient, allowing easier tracking of delinquent customers,” and that plans were in train to implement similar systems in all facilities in the region.
The document illustrates these savings contributed to the Ministry of Health being able to procure and implement state-of-the-art maintenance, administrative and medical equipment in the region during 2005.
Over the period, “the payroll software HRM2001 became fully operational [and] this improved the efficiency of the payroll department and allowed for the production of various types of reports as demanded by management and external parties,” the document said.
Furthermore, through the National Health Fund, emergency and medical equipment was procured for the Black River Hospital, with major repairs to the accident and emergency department, the construction of an administrative block in addition to the refurbishing of cupboards and doorways as well as the purchase of a washer and dryer at a total cost of more than $53 million.
The Percy Junior Hospital in Spaldings, Clarendon was also retiled at a cost of $2.3 million, funded by the Ministry’s Hospital Improvement Committee.
The Ministry Paper reports that hurricane repairs in the region were 93 per cent completed with some $40 million in expenditure so far.
The Southern Regional Health Authority, which spans the parishes of Manchester, Clarendon and St. Elizabeth, comprises some five hospitals and 79 health centres, in which some 163,254 accident and emergency cases were treated in 2005.