Thursday 28 May, 2020

Private doctors to be brought on board local COVID-19 fight

Dr Christopher Tufton (file photo)

Dr Christopher Tufton (file photo)

The Government of Jamaica is to partner with private doctors to alleviate expected challenges in the public health sector with the expected spike in the number of cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) locally.

According to Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, who was speaking at the ministry on Tuesday at the regular COVID-19 press conference, the initiative is in an effort to bring all those who can assist into the fold.

Tufton said the move is expected to lessen the crowds at public health facilities across the island, with individuals with chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, being referred to the private doctors.

“The goal is to reduce the number of persons who have to come into our clinics, thus helping to alleviate the demand on the public health system as we manage the existing challenge, but also importantly, as we prepare for a possible surge in (COVID-19) cases once we have community spread, which we anticipate,” said Tufton.

“It means that those persons who have been identified as controlled patients will be now outsourced to private practitioners so that they can get their medication and any required care, thus, neutralising the crowding effect that would normally take place in the health centres,” Tufton added.

The Government has been thrust into containing the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic since March 10, when the first case was confirmed in Jamaica.

“The efforts at addressing the challenges of COVID-19 continues, and the need for us to have an all-of-society approach in essence to ensure that everybody counts in this effort to deal with the control of the challenge, and overcoming the challenge is absolutely critical.

“We have made it very clear that no one agency, no one individual, no one set of citizens, not the Government or Opposition, can solve this public health challenge that we face,” Tufton also said.

According to him, private doctors who want to be part of the initiative must indicate interest through the ministry’s website, where the criteria to participate will also be outlined.

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