Tue | May 23, 2017

Improved access to medication coming for Jamaicans

Published:Thursday | August 27, 2015 | 8:05 PM
Minister of Health, Dr Fenton Ferguson (second left) assists with the signing of the contract for the supply of pharmaceutical from Indies Pharma represented by Dr Guna Muppuri (third left). The contract was also signed by the CEO of the National Health Fund (NHF), Everton Anderson; and Chairman of the Board of the NHF, Sterling Soares.

The health ministry says Jamaicans should expect improved access to medication at public health facilities over the next two years.

Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson says last year, the public health sector dispensed more than 2.9 million pharmacy items.

However, he says this still fell short of the demand.

He says that is why a decision was taken to double the budget for drugs from $4 billion last year to $8 billion this fiscal year.

Ferguson says the Government has already made considerably improved access to pharmaceuticals and sundry items in the public health sector.

He says more improvement should be expected following yesterday’s signing of 47 contracts between the National Health Fund and Suppliers amounting to US$33.4 million (J$3.84 billion).

The signing took place at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston and involved 576 items on the Ministry of Health’s Vital, Essential and Necessary List.

The health ministry says in July this year, the University Hospital of the West Indies also signed three contracts for the supply of pharmaceutical and sundry items totalling US$1.48 million.