Mon | Dec 17, 2018

Spotlight on universal health care

Published:Saturday | September 22, 2018 | 2:01 PM
Dr Karen Webster Kerr

The issue of universal health coverage will be put under the spotlight tomorrow when the Liguanea Chapter of the Order of St Luke and the Church of St Margaret stage a panel discussion to focus on this controversial issue.  

The panel discussion will be held under the theme “Universal Health Coverage: Healing for Individuals, Communities and the Nation”, at The Church of St Margaret, located in Liguanea, St Andrew, starting at 5 p.m. 

Issues such as the cost of health care and access to services will be addressed in the session which is open to members of the public.

The panellists will be Dr Michelle Harris, advisor, non-communicable diseases and mental health in the Jamaican office of the Pan-American Health Organisation; Dr Karen Webster Kerr, principal medical officer and national epidemiologist, in the Ministry of Health; Jasper Barnett director, health systems improvement branch in the health ministry; and insurance consultant, Cedric Stephens. 

The topic is in keeping with the theme for World Health Day 2018 and the encouragement of the World Health Organisation for individuals and organisations to arrange events and conversations on universal health coverage. 

It also comes against the background of public concern in Jamaica about issues such as the cost of health care and access to health services.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton has repeatedly emphasised that the government is committed to universal access to health care, meaning that no one should be denied service in a public medical facility on the basis that they cannot afford it.

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