Jamaica News: Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says that a number of clinics across the island will be rehabilitated this year in a bid to improve access of Jamaicans to primary healthcare.
Jamaica has 320 health centres islandwide, which are tasked with providing basic health services as well as outreach at the community level.
“We are looking at how we can advance primary healthcare by enhancing health centres, and this year, we are going to see a lot of those health centres renovated,” Dr. Tufton said.
He was speaking at the Ministry’s ‘Taking Responsibility Road Tour’ held recently at the Walter Hall Anglican Parish Church in Lucea, Hanover.
He noted that the upgrading works will not only improve service delivery in the health sector but also reduce the number of patients who visit accident and emergency departments at hospitals, causing overcrowding.
Dr. Tufton said that the Government will also be enhancing the presence of doctors in health centres.
“A lot of times doctors go to health centres once a week and sometimes once a month, and we are now developing a programme, which will enhance the presence of physicians. It’s so we can give better coverage in promoting prevention methods, even if it is just to give you the health checks that you need,” he said.
“Diagnostics is also another big thing that we are working on. So basic things like checking blood pressure, blood sugar levels and doing an X-ray should be routine procedures because those are what tell us what our status is and give us the guidance to take the appropriate action,” Dr. Tufton added.
The Ministry of Health’s ‘Taking Responsibility Road Tour’ is aimed at promoting individual ownership of the need for proactive, preventative self-care.
Inspired by the Minister’s 2018 sectoral presentation, the islandwide tour is spreading awareness of a number of major health issues being faced by Jamaicans and the measures being undertaken by the Ministry of Health to tackle the challenges.