KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Health, Dr Fenton Ferguson says priority attention is being given to strengthening systems to deliver cancer-care more effectively and efficiently.
Ferguson announced that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has accepted his invitation to field a mission to undertake an assessment and formulate a cancer control plan for Jamaica.
According to Ferguson the country is seeking to re-introduce nuclear medicine technology to enhance diagnostic and treatment capabilities for cancer and other chronic diseases.
“The impact of cancer can be devastating on the affected individual, the family, community, the health system and society as a whole. However, there is hope and the negative impact of cancer can be reduced so that there are better health outcomes, “ said Ferguson.
“I intend to pilot the charge down the road that leads to a broad-spectrum attack on cancer to include prevention, screening, early diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care,” he added.
He said that the intention is to, on a phased basis, streamline the cancer care path and systematically remove the bottlenecks. Ferguson added that his plan includes continuing collaboration with voluntary organisations such as the Jamaica Cancer Society, and the Jamaica Medical Foundation, in their work on cancer.
“Improving cancer care must be a national effort. Government, private sector, the NGO community, faith-based organisations, community-based organisations, the Diaspora, and each of us, must co-operate to fulfill this mission,” the minister said.