Linstead Hospital gets new DrugServ Pharmacy
A new DrugServ Pharmacy, constructed at a cost of $31 million, has been officially opened at the Linstead Hospital in St Catherine.
The facility was opened last Thursday by Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton.
The pharmacy is expected to reduce the average waiting time for the dispensing of drugs to an estimated 20,000 people in Linstead and adjoining communities. It is the latest addition to the expanding health services at the 150-year-old hospital and was funded by the National Health Fund (NHF).
Tufton, who along with NHF Chief Executive Officer Everton Anderson, promised to erect the pharmacy at the opening ceremony for the new Accident and Emergency Department in April of this year, disclosed that some $200 million has so far been spent to improve service delivery at the hospital in the past two years.
"I am happy to say that the charge I gave for the pharmacy to be completed before Christmas has been met on time and within budget," Tufton stated.
CUTTING WAITING TIME
"I must commend the NHF for continuing to fulfil its mandate as the most efficiently run public organisation in the country," the health minister continued, pointing out that the average waiting time for patients to get drugs at the DrugServ pharmacies has been reduced to 30 minutes, in most cases, down from six to seven hours.
He added that the NHF has significantly overcome the challenge of the extended waiting time that had plagued them in the past, calling it a great achievement by the award-winning state organisation.
Turning to the proposed National Health Insurance scheme, which he described as universal healthcare, Tufton indicated that public dialogue is ongoing to agree on the best way to implement the programme.
He admitted that paying for such a scheme with an effective service delivery mechanism remains his greatest challenge. He urged Jamaicans to begin to plan for healthcare in their retirement years.
The hospital also received a donation of $1 million from Trade Winds Citrus Ltd, which raised the funds from their annual 5K Run.