Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Sav hospital gets much-needed medical supplies

Published:Friday | September 30, 2016 | 9:00 AMOkoye Henry
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton receiving an update on the conditions of the Salt Spring Health Centre in St James from nurses at the facility yesterday.

Western Bureau:

Medical equipment valued at US$240,000 was yesterday handed over to the Westmoreland-based Savanna-la-Mar Hospital by the popular local charity the Issa Trust Foundation.

The handover, witnessed by Health Minister Christopher Tufton, who toured under-pressure health facilities in the west yesterday, took place at the Office of the Prime Minister in Montego Bay, St James.

Among the items donated were disposables, surgical supplies, 13 beds, supplies to battle the Zika virus, ultrasound equipment, incubators, and diagnostics equipment, among other general supplies.

The non-profit organisation had previously installed pipe and air oxygen in the special-care nursery at the hospital.

"The Savanna-la-Mar Hospital extends our appreciation to the Issa Trust Foundation because, certainly, we have formed a partnership from which we have been able to get much-needed support," said Camile Lewis, the institution's chief executive officer.

Tufton also thanked the foundation for its near-two decades of making charity donations to Jamaica's health-care system.

PARTNERSHIPS CRITICAL

He noted that the Issa Trust Foundation's donation was testament to the critical role that partnerships and stakeholders play in developing the country's health sector.

"Partnership is important because frankly speaking, it is difficult for us - the Government - to provide all that is required for a number of reasons," said Tufton.

The minister said he planned to make the process of accepting donations from local and overseas partners to the health sector less cumbersome by strengthening the Wellness Foundation - a not-for-profit unit within his ministry.

"We will be adding more personnel to interface with donors and supporters, whether here in Jamaica or elsewhere, to deal with some of the bureaucratic red tape like dealing with Customs or identifying needs so they know how to give [and] what to give," Tufton said.

"I look forward to that because I believe it will make things easier not just for persons who are giving already, but for those who want to give. We have to form strategic partnerships with non-profit organisations like Issa and other critical stakeholders in the society," the minister added.