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Accessible Health Care Needed across the island- Primie Minister

Published:Saturday | February 7, 2015 | 2:00 AM
Prime Minister Portia Simspon Miller

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has underscored the need for primary health care of the highest standard to be accessible to rural communities.

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the renovation of the Hagley Park Health Centre in Kingston yesterday, she said that the project, which is funded by the National Health Fund at a cost of $42.6 million, is to ensure that the health centre can deliver quality health care to the 27,000 persons it serves.

"I grew up in a deep-rural district and I know how difficult it was to access health care. I am determined to ensure that every Jamaican has the opportunity to live a healthy and productive life and ensure that the delivery of health care is of quality standard," she said.

"I am not only interested in Kingston and St Andrew. I have a passion for our citizens in rural areas because some of these sections are in need of some serious attention and they, too, must be able to access optimum health care and delivery. We are working very hard to ensure that this happens," Simpson Miller declared.

While outlining the work done by her administration, including renovation and upgrading of several hospitals across the country, she stressed that more needs to be done, adding that the Government would be transparent in all its endeavours.

"I know that my Government is not corrupt, and if any member touches anything that does not belong to them, I will be the first to put them in prison," she said.

A LOT TO BE DONE

"A lot remains to be done to bring the system to the point of excellence, but we are committed to the task, working at it, step by step, hospital by hospital, and in keeping with our mission today, health centre by health centre," the prime minister told the gathering.

Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson echoed similar sentiments, pointing out that he was committed to the cause despite challenges.

"It is clear in my mind that the needs of South West St Andrew and other parts of the country must be met because many times when surveys are done, they speak not only to salaries, but conditions of workers, which would include doctors, nurses, and patients," he said.

"The health sector in past and present administrations has always been one of the most challenging sectors. We have over 300 health centres, and so, on any given day, we find that there are various hurdles. But it is important to note that our anticipation for 2015-2016 is that the budget will be better able to respond to the concerns and challenges that we encounter on a daily basis," he declared.

-J.G.