Wed | Nov 22, 2017

New children's hospital gets boost from international agency

Published:Wednesday | November 1, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton (left) and Ingar Falck Olsen (second right), head of United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Operations in Central America, Colombia and the Caribbean, examine the memorandum of understanding with (from second left) Dr. Winston De-La-Haye, chief medical officer in the Ministry of Health; Sancia Bennett Templer, permanent secretary, Ministry of Health; and Wayne Chen (right), chairman, Southern Regional Health Authority. The occasion was the signing an agreement with UNOPS at Jamaica House in St Andrew yesterday.

The signing of a memorandum of understanding for technical assistance between the Ministry of Health and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) will assist the ministry's plans to provide another hospital in western Jamaica geared towards children and adolescents and assist in strengthening the infrastructure, including medical equipment of five hospitals, said Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton.

"I am pleased that this signing will assist the Ministry of Health's plan to provide another hospital in the western region geared towards the health needs of our children and adolescents," stated Tufton at yesterday's signing at the prime minister's office in Kingston.

"Both projects fall in line with the ministry's overarching goal of developing a comprehensive 10-year strategic development plan for the health sector as part of integrated health-service delivery framework."

The new hospital facility, to be constructed with the help of China, will provide 220 additional beds, among other services, including specialised care for children.

"This facility will also be an enhancement to our tourism product, with specialised care for children being offered to this sector," the minister noted.

The hospitals to benefit from an upgrade include Spanish Town, from Type B to Type A; May Pen, from Type C to Type B; and the St Ann's Bay Regional and Mandeville Regional, from Type B to Type A.

 

STUDY OF KPH

 

Tufton noted that a study to assess the state of infrastructure, organisation and services of the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) is to be undertaken. A similar assessment will take place into the feasibility of the renovation, expansion and reorganisation of KPH to enhance the quality of services and its efficiency.

He said the strategic plan's objective is to provide direction to the ministry, which is aligned with Jamaica's commitment to universal access to health and health-care coverage.

...UNOPS can bring value to Jamaica, says boss

Head of United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Operations in Central America, Colombia and the Caribbean, Ingar Falck Olsen, said that his visits to the Spanish Town and Kingston Public hospitals reveal that although some things are working, there are challenges that need addressing.

Olsen said that the UNOPS can bring value to Jamaica through its mandate in the area of public infrastructure, public procurement and project management, working in more than 100 countries.

"UNOPS has recently been involved in a large military hospital in Nicaragua, a regional hospital in Guatemala, and last month opened a hospital in

El Salvador, so by having this scale, it allows us to maintain expertise that we will be able to bring to the table in Jamaica," Olsen said of the UN agency's role.

The four-month consultancy on the scope of work for the Western Children's Hospital will be implemented at a cost of US$146,663, while a needs assessment and analysis of alternatives for the strengthening of the infrastructure and medical equipment of the five hospitals will be implemented over a six-month period at a cost of US$417,634.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com