Compassionate Care Programme launched at Black River Hospital
Patients at the Black River Hospital in St Elizabeth should see an improvement in the delivery of care, following the launch of the Ministry of Health's Compassionate Care Programme at the facility last week.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton said it is important that healthcare professionals strike a balance between clinical care and compassion.
He said that while healthcare workers have risen to the challenge of providing optimum clinical care, there needs to be improvement in how patients are catered to emotionally.
"I believe compassionate care is an important part of the overall response to public health, in order to develop a mechanism to ensure that we begin to enhance, to develop, to build and strengthen a culture of customer service as we deliver public health," the minister added.
Dr Tufton further noted that effective healthcare extends beyond "clinical application" and incorporates a "method and approach to delivery" which includes a demonstration of care and compassion through proper customer service.
In this regard, he said 200 staff members at the Black River Hospital received basic customer service and customer care training prior to the launch of the Compassionate Care Programme.
Meanwhile, Dr Tufton called for the recruitment of "an army of volunteers to engage and support the processes of public health," a component of the programme.
"The volunteerism component, guided by the policy, seeks to recruit, engage, deploy and benefit from Jamaicans who are well-thinking and who want to contribute, guided by the clinical people and guided by the technical people, to the well-being of citizens," the minister said.
The Compassionate Care Programme is geared towards enhancing the psychological wellness of patients within the public health system as a means of promoting speedy recovery.
It also seeks to improve patient experience at the various facilities by improving the aesthetics in waiting areas.
The programme has now been launched at four healthcare facilities in four parishes. It is projected that all parishes will be covered by March 2019.