Health clinic visits up by a third this year - Tufton calls for more partnerships to upgrade facilities
Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton has revealed that there has been an increase in visits to health centres this year, with 1.6 million visits registered since January, 400,000 more than the entire 2019.
He is calling on more Jamaicans to engage the ministry’s Adopt a Clinic programme, which has pulled in more than $130 million in support from charities and corporate entities to upgrade health facilities across the island in its first five years.
“As we work to meet COVID-19 and other public health challenges, it is important than ever to provide needed support for our health centres through efforts to finance their physical upgrade and to provide them with needed equipment to boost service offerings,” said Tufton. “The truth is many of our local health centres are in need of support to themselves better support the delivery of healthcare to the population ... .”
According to Tufton, 100 out of the 325 primary care facilities across the country have been identified for adoption, but only 30 have been taken on so far.
He was speaking at an adoption ceremony yesterday in Brown’s Hall, St Catherine, as the programme got its latest injection of $35 million from Kemtech Development Limited and Omni Industries Limited, which partnered with the ministry and the National Health Fund to construct the new Brown’s Hall Health Centre.
Tufton said the upgrade was timely and will greatly enhance the delivery of health services at the facility, adding family planning, immunisation and doctor’s visits to the previous offerings of maternal and paediatric services.
Kemtech Development Managing Director Sylvester Tulloch said he was inspired to give back to his home community, calling it “the springboard that propelled us to do greater things”.
He said that both Kemtek and Omni Industries will be giving an additional $3 million to assist with the purchase of needed clinical equipment in addition to a US$6,000 donation from former members of the community who now reside overseas.