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The Ministry of Health has established an Equipment Performance Taskforce (EPTF) to develop a framework for the optimal use of medical equipment, and to assist in standardising procurement.

This was disclosed by Portfolio Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, during the official opening of the Ambulatory Chemotherapy Unit at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) today (November 23).

He said the proposed policy framework will guide the management of medical equipment in the public health sector, and among other things, will provide the overarching framework for the development of operating, preventative maintenance and equipment replacement procedures, which, when implemented, will ensure that the established equipment performance standards are maintained.

Under the EPTF, personnel, who operate equipment, will also be recommended for training, while the existing mechanisms for monitoring and reporting on the performance of medical equipment will be strengthened.

The taskforce will also compile a list of the minimum medical equipment required for the effective delivery of primary care and dental health services.

The Ambulatory Chemotherapy Unit is the first of its kind at the KPH and will provide enhanced care for cancer patients, while improving treatment and diagnostic services for increased survival and recovery.

A total of $6.5 million was spent to refurbish the Charles Moss Ward to house the facility. It is equipped with more than 30 pieces of equipment.

“The equipment in this …department should no doubt benefit from this protocol when established. We must do everything within our power to maintain our vital medical equipment,” the Health Minister said.