Government to assess capacity needs of five hospitals
The Government, through a private entity, will be assessing the capacity needs of five public hospitals across the island, to provide resources for the expansion of services.
Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Tufton, said among the things that will be looked at are the technical specifications of the facilities, to expand medical services.
He said the assessment team, consisting of technical experts, will examine and determine the needs of the hospitals and what should be added.
"From there, we will use that plan for the next wave of infrastructure development," the minister said.
Addressing a contract-signing ceremony for $54.7 million to correct leaking problems at the May Pen Hospital in Clarendon recently, Tufton said that Prime Minister Andrew Holness has "signalled" that the health budget will be increased for the next financial year.
"The budget is going to create some space for us to take advantage of expanded infrastructure," he said.
The hospitals that will be assessed for expansion are May Pen, Mandeville, Spanish Town, St. Ann's Bay, and the Kingston Public.
Meanwhile, Tufton said that due to a private/public pharmacy initiative that he has implemented, waiting time at public health facilities has been reduced, in some cases to less than half an hour, where in the past it ranged from two to three hours.
The National Health Fund (NHF)-financed roof project will benefit the Outpatient Department, Maternity Ward, Dietary Department, Laboratory, Female Medical and Surgical wards and the Paediatric Ward.
Member of Parliament for Central Clarendon, Mike Henry, said he welcomed the improvement project for the hospital.
Also at the ceremony was chief executive officer of the NHF, Everton Anderson.