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Health ministry seeking private sector assistance

Friday, August 10, 2012 | 10:38 AM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Health, Fenton Ferguson says his ministry is moving forward in its bid to seek public/private partnerships in various areas of health care delivery.

“We view public/private partnerships as an avenue through which the government can cut costs, reduce risk, while simultaneously increasing coverage levels, output quality and efficiency,” Ferguson said.

“Having a structured public private policy guideline will seek to streamline PPP arrangements, improve transparency and broaden access,” he added.

According to Ferguson public/private partnerships is seen as “the ideal mechanism that creates entrepreneurial opportunities, provides an opportunity for private investments and allows the Government optimal use of its fiscal space.”

“Government cannot continue to provide all the start up financing required to update and modernise our health infrastructure and delivery systems,” said the health minister.

He noted out that the Ministry of Health have had a number of partnership arrangements outside of a prescribed policy guideline.

However, Ferguson added, Government has now given the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) the mandate to develop a national policy framework for public/private partnerships.

Within this policy framework, the Ministry will enter into further public/private arrangements taking account of the requirements specific to health and health care.

Ferguson said almost all areas in the public health system could benefit from public private partnerships.

“Based on overall strategic and policy direction, the Ministry of Health will seek to promote technologically intensive services such as cancer treatment and dialysis, infrastructure development, health information management systems, pharmacy services, diagnostic services, health promotion interventions, non-clinical support services and training and research”.

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