Increase in overseas health missions to Jamaica expected - Tufton
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton

KINGSTON, Jamaica - Jamaica should see an increase of overseas health missions on the island, through the efforts of the revamped Health for Life and Wellness Foundation in the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton says an appeal he made last year while in New York for health professionals to return and provide needed services through the missions is “paying off”, and the Foundation, which had a recent boost to its personnel, will be coordinating more of “these kinds of missions”.

He said the three teams that were on the island recently did crucial surgeries under the CODE Care Programme and several community outreach activities, and “we continue to build on that”.

“A lot of them are Jamaicans, some are not; some are just friends of Jamaica. Public health can’t survive without this kind of collaboration, so we appreciate it,” the minister said.

Lead gynaecologist on one of the teams, Dr Monique Jones, said when Minister Tufton brought it to their attention that due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there was a backlog of surgeries to be cleared on the island, she and the medical persons, numbering 58, sprang into action.

“I went back and got a team. It was an amazing task. I love giving back; that is what I do. I try and reach everybody in different ways, and the women who we operated on were so appreciative,” she said, noting that they did operations at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), and delivered other services on the island.

Through the non-profit healthcare provider Northwell Health, they gifted a cardiotocograph machine to the Noel Holmes Hospital in Lucea, Hanover.

The CODE CARE programme is geared at clearing outstanding elective cases due to the backlog caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

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