KINGSTON, Jamaica – More than 120,000 Jamaicans have received life-saving treatment and care under the Government’s Enhancing Healthcare Services Delivery Project, at a cost of $3 billion.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, said that through the public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement, which was instituted in September 2019, individuals benefit from diagnostic services such as computerised tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasounds, mammograms, fluoroscopic studies, and others.
“We have saved hundreds of lives,” he said at the handover of medical equipment to the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) in St Andrew on Tuesday, March 21.
“The PPP arrangement remains useful and valuable and should be given some credit for helping a lot of Jamaicans,” the minister added, noting that efforts are being undertaken to address the shortage of equipment at various hospitals.
The Enhancing Healthcare Services Delivery Project is part of the ministry’s strategy for the reduction in wait time at public healthcare facilities.
The objective is to enable patients to access certain diagnostic services free of cost through private providers, in cases where the public hospital does not have the equipment or they are not working.
Meanwhile, the CHASE Fund and benevolent organisation, Masonic Homes Limited, have donated 18 patient monitors valued at a cost of $25 million to the UHWI.
These are devices used to measure, record and display various patient parameters such as heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, temperature, respiratory rate, blood oxygen saturation, etcetera to keep track of the patient's health.
“They will make the hospital a lot better and more efficient in-patient care,” Dr Tufton said.
Providing an update on the UHWI’s $530-million modernisation project, Minister Tufton said that a project management team is being identified, noting that the project will provide “significant capacity” to improve specialised services at the hospital.
The UHWI is a 584-bed facility that provides critical care, including accident and emergency, intensive care, neonatal intensive care, coronary care, and specialist care consisting of cardiac and complex neurosurgical procedures.
It is a regional quaternary referral centre, providing other Caribbean countries with an affordable option for critical services.
UHWI remains a regional training facility for medical experts and healthcare professionals.
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