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  • Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says work will be undertaken this year to upgrade the Type C May Pen Hospital to a Type B facility.
  • “We’ll be sending the architects and the other professionals and we’re going to find the budget. We’ll be doing the work to upgrade the hospital. This will mean added rooms, added infrastructure and a better responsive system,” he noted.
  • Type C Hospitals refer to basic district facilities that offer in-patient and out-patient services in general medicine, surgery and child and maternity care. Basic x-ray and laboratory services are usually available.

Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says work will be undertaken this year to upgrade the Type C May Pen Hospital to a Type B facility.

“We’ll be sending the architects and the other professionals and we’re going to find the budget. We’ll be doing the work to upgrade the hospital. This will mean added rooms, added infrastructure and a better responsive system,” he noted.

He said he will provide further details about the project in his 2017/18 Sectoral Presentation in the House of Representatives on May 3.

The Minister was speaking at a ceremony for the handover of six ambulances to the health sector at the May Pen Hospital in Denbigh, Clarendon, on April 20.

Type C Hospitals refer to basic district facilities that offer inpatient and outpatient services in general medicine, surgery and child and maternity care. Basic X-ray and laboratory services are usually available.

Type B Hospitals are situated in the larger urban centres, and they provide inpatient and outpatient services in the four basic specialties – general surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology and paediatrics.

The ambulances were provided by the European Union (EU) at a cost of approximately J$83 million (€631, 162) under the Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC).

They will be deployed to four health centres and two community hospitals for the transportation of expectant mothers in cases of emergencies.

The health centres are St. Jago Park in ST. Catherine; Annotto Bay in St. Mary; Mandeville in Manchester; and Savanna-la-Mar in Westmoreland, while the hospitals are: Chapelton Community in Clarendon; and the Alexandria Community in St. Ann.

The Health Minister is urging the beneficiary facilities to take care of the units and put a maintenance plan in place.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton informed that the Government is looking at adopting the Finnish Baby Box in order to encourage more expectant mothers to seek prenatal care.

Used in Finland for 75 years, the box is a starter kit comprised of baby supplies that is provided by the State. The kit is said to have helped Finland achieve one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates.

Minister Tufton said possible suppliers of the maternity package are being engaged. “I would like to see us try it here in Jamaica in order to address the issues related to pregnant women not going to clinics,” he said.

In her remarks, Head of Delegation for the EU to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, said the brand new Mercedes-Benz ambulances are fully furnished with state-of-the-art equipment.

The EU Head of Delegation is urging expectant mothers to make good use of the ambulances. She also encouraged them to take action to protect your health and well-being. “This includes, seeking antenatal and postnatal care and following the guidance of the medical professionals,” she said.

PROMAC was established to meet Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) four and five relating to reductions in maternal and child mortality ratios.

Jamaica was allocated €22 million by the EU to support the achievement of the MDGs. PROMAC is managed by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).