Wednesday 2 December, 2020

$1 billion in hand to digitise public health record-keeping – Tufton

Dr Christopher Tufton

Dr Christopher Tufton

Health and Wellness Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, says the ministry is in possession of some $1 billion to digitise the record-keeping system in the public health sector.

The funding is to come from last November's US$100 million financing agreement between the Government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to support public health in Jamaica.

"When we first took office, we agreed that we needed to move from the paper-base management. It's inefficient. Have you ever been into one of these record rooms? If the dust doesn't get you, then probably something else will. Again, old, outdated system. I am happy to announce that under the IDB window, we have some US$8 million, or certainly over (Jamaican) $1 billion, for health information systems which we are now preparing the documentation to go to market for, which we will begin before the end of this financial year. And that will improve the efficiencies of delivery," Tufton stated.

He was speaking last week at the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the US$43 million Western Children and Adolescents’ Hospital in Montego Bay, St James.

The 220-bed, seven-floor complex is a gift from the People’s Republic of China, and will include a 60-room residential facility for medical and health professionals.

Tufton also revealed that some US$50 million of the US$100 million is to be used, together with Government of Jamaica (GOJ) funding, to undertake a series of infrastructure upgrades in the public health sector over the next three to five years.

The planned spending includes:

·$166 million for the Bustamante Children's Hospital;

·Spanish Town Hospital - $3.1 billion

·St Ann's Bay Hospital - $463 million

·May Pen Hospital - $138 million;

·Kingston Public Hospital - $2.3 billion; and

·Cornwall Regional Hospital - $3.5 billion.

Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica, Tian Qi.

The health and wellness minister expressed gratitude to the Republic of China for their generous gift of the children and adolescents’ hospital.

Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Tian Qi, said the new hospital will not only be the largest in Jamaica, but also the entire Caribbean.

He said the project is a manifestation of the 47-year friendship between Jamaica and China.

“China and Jamaica are good friends, and are great partners. This hospital is a gift from the Chinese Government and the people of China to the Jamaican Government and its people, especially to the younger generation. This is a testimony of our friendship and goodwill between both countries, and also one of the early harvests of our co-operation,” he stated.

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