Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Make health budget priority

Published:Tuesday | November 10, 2015 | 11:00 AM


The dismal health-sector audit has now been released and clearly shows the crisis in Jamaican public health care.

Some time ago, the public health system featured too few doctors who worked long hours and much overtime.This was burdensome and some doctors suffered from stress and burnout. Thus, Dr Fenton Ferguson had a very well-intentioned idea to correct this, and as such, he sought to implement a shift system to rotate the health workers.

The fact is, this was really a disguise, for the real reason was spending cuts ordered by the International Monetary Fund. Many health workers earned less as a result and there was a lack of coverage in the hospitals.What price do we put on a life?

Indeed, the budget cuts were necessary, but I put it to you that nothing is more important than health because it impacts all other human pursuits.

There are several areas that could've been cut. Look no further than the Jamaica Fire Brigade. Anybody who plays dominoes will tell you a Jamaican fireman will beat you six-love religiously.

What would our choice be - paying overtime to health workers (who are always working around the clock saving lives), or firemen sitting around playing dominoes waiting for a fire that often never comes?