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Health Minister: Removal of donor funding threatening ministry achievements

Published:Tuesday | February 24, 2015 | 10:46 AM
Dr Fenton Ferguson - File

Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson says the removal of donor funding for health programmes puts current achievements at risk of reversal.

According to him, Jamaica’s achievements in health, like many other countries, are at risk because they are categorised as upper middle income nations, resulting in the subsequent loss of benefits.

Ferguson was speaking yesterday at the Global Fund Expert Panel of the Equitable Access Initiative in Geneva, Switzerland.

He says while the classification may be justified from a conventional accounting approach, from a development perspective other factors than national income must be taken into consideration.

According to the Minister, in the case of Jamaica disposable income which must support national expenditure is significantly restricted and debt servicing places a great burden on the national budget.

Ferguson explains that the cutback of donor funds to countries with a similar profile as Jamaica undermines efforts to provide equity in access to health care especially for the most vulnerable.

Jamaica was the only country from Latin American and the Caribbean invited to the meeting to participate on the expert panel.