Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, says that Jamaica’s public health sector is undergoing significant changes to meet the needs of Jamaicans–and presumably also of tourists.
Jamaica has recently been heavily criticised by the US Department of State for having allegedly inadquate health facilities to meet the needs of tourists who fall ill or are injured.
The Kingston General Hospital was founded in 1776 and is one of the oldest in the hemisphere.
Tufton noted that these changes entail infrastructure development through upgrading and building of new hospitals on a magnitude that has not been seen since Independence.
It also includes advancement in technology to enhance operational efficiency.
Dr. Tufton was addressing the official opening of the 22nd annual Caribbean Neurosciences Symposium and Workshops at the Half Moon Conference Centre on Friday (February 9).
He noted that some of the changes come out of the experience of COVID-19, which amplified the challenges in the sector.
“There were a lot of teaching moments [that came] out of COVID-19. I have been fortunate to lead a period of challenges but have seen the benefit of support from the society, from the Government [and] from the Cabinet to put a lot of resources in public health, some of it out of necessity, some of it out of advocacy. I am proud of that for myself [and] on behalf of the team that I lead,” he noted.
The symposium was hosted by the Caribbean Neurological Association and Department of Surgery at the University of the West Indies and the University Hospital of the West Indies’ Division of Neurosurgery.
Dr. Tufton commended the organisers of the event, which was held from February 8 to 10 under the theme ‘Advances in Neurosciences Through Global Collaboration’.
He said that the discussions are relevant to internal stakeholders of the UWI and the University Hospital, as well as external interests that are critical to planning and forging strategic arrangements for the future.
The symposium served to provide updates for doctors and doctors-in-training about new technologies and techniques being applied in medicine.
Topics covered during the symposium include critical care, trauma, plastic surgery reconstructive issues in neurosurgery, among others.
Source: Jamaica Government Information Service.