Health ministry to improve data sharing
Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton said strategies will be identified to improve how information is shared across the public and private healthcare system.
The objective, he said, is to strengthen the delivery of health services to Jamaicans.
"It is quite clear to me that there needs to be some mainstreaming of information, because if you have incomplete, inaccurate or, even worse, no data at all, it's going to be very difficult to take a coordinated approach to healthcare," he argued.
"There are significant gaps in health data, and we have to address that if we are going to make a more meaningful impact or have a more impactful effect on treating with the concerns that exist out there."
The minister said that he has charged a team within the ministry to "begin to look at the standardisation of a policy that is benchmarked by international standards".
Tweak for local needs
He noted that there are countries that have policies in place that can be tweaked to suit local needs.
Tufton argued that partnership is key in ensuring the success of the information-sharing process.
"A lot of the work that we do now in Jamaica, and I suspect in the other regions, involves a number of players, both from the service provision standpoint through to infrastructure, tools and equipment standpoint. We have to coordinate better the partnerships that are out there," he said.
He said that the substantial partners have to be government and private sector in the first instance, as these are the two main players in the health sector.
Beyond that, the non-governmental organisations and other interests will also have an important role to play, he noted.