100 clinics in Jamaica in need of adoption, says Johnson Smith
Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith has urged Jamaicans in the diaspora to adopt clinics in Jamaica as part of efforts to improve the island’s healthcare delivery system.
“Forty-five clinics have already been adopted (by the diaspora) but there are still some 100 clinics that can be adopted,” she told members of the diaspora at a community meeting held at the Jamaican Consulate in New York on Monday night.
Minister Johnson Smith was in New York as part of Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ delegation which attended a number of events, including the Jamaica Independence Gala at the New York Hilton Hotel to mark Jamaica’s 61st anniversary of Independence. The community event was billed as ‘Dialogue with the Diaspora’.
Johnson Smith said that it costs about US$5,000 to adopt a clinic in Jamaica.
Some six investors, who were engaged in a round table discussion with the prime minister during the visit, have agreed to adopt a number of clinics in Jamaica, Consul General Alsion Wilson reported.
Responding to a question about the present state of Jamaica’s healthcare, Holness said that the Cornwall Regional Hospital, which is being renovated, will provide state-of-the-art care when it comes on stream.
He said further that ground will be broken next month for construction work to begin to upgrade the Spanish Town Hospital, and announced the opening of the new children’s hospital in Montego Bay, which should provide some 200 additional beds. He said the facility will be the most advanced children’s hospital in the region.
“The healthcare system in Jamaica continues to offer challenges, particularly in the areas of equipment and technology, but the Government is addressing these and improvements will be seen in the country’s healthcare delivery system,” he said.
It was also revealed at the meeting that Jamaica should be getting five new ambulances under an agreement with Japan.
The prime minister said the government is also working to reduce waiting time at healthcare facilities as well as improve patient care. An expanding of the number of clinics islandwide is also being undertaken. “Conditions are improving,” he said.
The delegation returned to Jamaica late Monday night.