SECTORAL PRESENTATION 2009/2010 BY THE MINISTER OF HEALTH, HON. RUDYARD SPENCER


Mr. Speaker:I am honoured to once again stand in this Honourable House to report on the performance of the health sector over the last financial year and to share with the people of Jamaica some of the priority areas for this current financial year.
First of all, I would like to thank my Constituents who gave me the mandate to represent them in this Parliament. I thank them for their patience over the last year and a half as I try to balance the most challenging portfolio Ministry with my duties as Member of Parliament.
I thank the Prime Minister for the confidence that he continues to repose in me in assigning me this portfolio and for the support that he continues to give to the health agenda.
I thank Senator Aundre Franklin, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry on whose consistent support I rely to manage this challenging and complex portfolio.
Mr. Speaker:I must recognize the tremendous work of the staff in the public health sector. I thank the Permanent Secretary for her leadership of the public health sector through the most challenging decade in global health. Dr. Allen Young was appointed as Permanent Secretary in 2001 and has therefore been at the helm of the ship for the development and implementation of some of the most far-reaching policy interventions.
I speak of the National Health Fund, the abolition of user fees for minors and the wholesale abolition of user fees last year. She was also the chief architect of the Jamaica Drugs for the Elderly Programme which was introduced in 1997 which has been an outstanding success.
Dr. Allen Young will proceed on pre-retirement leave effective September 1, 2009. On behalf of the health sector in Jamaica and this Honourable House, I wish her well and thank her on behalf of the people of Jamaica for her decades of service to the health sector in both the public and private sector.
Mr. Speaker, I thank the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sheila Campbell Forrester and the thousands of health workers who continue to go beyond the call of duty for the people of this country. I recognize the work of the management and staff in all of our agencies and departments.
Our development partners continue to provide outstanding support to advance the health agenda of the country. I would like to mention:
– The Pan- American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation;
– The United Nations and its organs
– The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
– The Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC)
– Various local and overseas based educational institutions
– The Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
– Individual governments such as the Governments of Cuba, Mexico, Spain and the Republic of Korea
– Volunteer Missions, including members of the Jamaican Diaspora
I would also like to mention the many organizations in Jamaica in the private and non-governmental sectors that continue to work toward the achievement of the health agenda.
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