IDB provides US$100m to strengthen Jamaica's health care system

Saturday, November 17, 2018

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WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says it is providing US$100 million in loans to Jamaica to help strength its national health care system.

The Washington-based financial institution said that the funds will aid Jamaica's fight against non-communicable diseases (NCD).

The strengthening of Jamaica's health policies that target NCD risk factors and treatment, includes “providing higher quality care and improving access to public health networks, with an emphasis on chronic disease management,” the IDB said.

It said Jamaica's NCD prevention policy seeks to address two main challenges. The first is prevention of NCDs by addressing four preventable risk factors: tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy dietary habits.

The IDB said the second is improving the quality of life and care for people living with NCDs. It also involves preventing premature NCD-related deaths.

The IDB noted that, five years ago, Jamaica developed the “National Strategic and Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Disease,” and that the plan aims to reduce the burden of NCDs and injuries by 25 per cent by 2025.

“The Government's goals for this loan programme are to reduce the public's exposure to risk factors for NCDs; to provide increased capacity in health centres and hospitals to diagnose and treat NCD patients; and to reorient Jamaica's health systems to address prevention and control of NCDs through consumer-oriented primary health care,” the IDB said.

It said the hybrid loan includes two complementary elements: a US$50 million Programmatic Policy-Based (PBP) loan and a US$50 million investment loan.

“The PBP will fund the necessary regulations and policies to implement coherent and comprehensive health sector strategy. The investment loan will fund improvements in Jamaica's primary care system, and will improve the management, quality, and efficiency of Jamaica's hospital and health service networks.”

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