Sat | Sep 26, 2020

Many J’cans reckless with their health – Tufton

Published:Saturday | February 8, 2020 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer


Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton is lamenting the lack of responsibility displayed by many Jamaicans in relation to their health and well-being.

“We have a country that, over the last 30 years, has not invested nearly enough in improving and enhancing the public health offerings in the country. I’m admitting that we should have done a lot more over the last three decades, and of our approximate population of three million people, 95 per cent of us only care about our health when we get sick,” said Tufton.

He was speaking at a town hall meeting at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre in Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay, on Thursday.

“The doctor doesn’t mean anything until you need a prescription, medication, or hospitalisation, and we don’t really think about the prevention message of eating right, getting rest and exercising every day, until we get sick. So the health profile of our population over many decades has gotten a lot worse, and the consequence is that more people are going to hospital, and there are longer hospital waits,” added Tufton.


The health minister said that many Jamaicans are of the view that the system must take care of them. “We are a fun-loving people, we love to party, and we love the drinks and the herbs and spices, but it makes no sense that you live to age 60 and have to take 100 tablets, or that you’ll have to sit down for two hours to clean out your blood through dialysis,” said Tufton.

During the town hall meeting, Dr Marcia Johnson-Campbell, St James’ medical officer of health, urged residents to partner with the local health services to promote personal health safety. She noted that 92 per cent of the parish’s 2,836 food establishments and 82 per cent of the 141 local tourist establishments have been certified by the health department.