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Doctor urges private sector to aid ailing health service

Published:Friday | November 28, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Says JPS and NWC rates too high

Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer


A MEDICAL doctor in the public sector has called for light and power company, the Jamaica Public Service (JPS), and the National Water Commission (NWC) to assist Jamaica's ailing health service.

Dr Innocent Francis, a medical officer at the Brown's Town Health Centre in St Ann and one of several doctors from continental Africa working in the local health sector, was speaking recently at a ceremony where Jamaica National (JN) Building Society handed over a cheque to assist the health centre.

In praising the Government for offering some free health services to the people of Jamaica, Francis said the private sector should, therefore, become part of the process and help also.

But his focus settled on the two utility companies, one which is owned fully by the Government, and the other, partially, to suggest that is where help could come from.

"We are happy to have you responding to our call but we still have so many needs," Francis said to Ransford Davidson, JN business relationship and sales manager for St Ann, who presented the cheque.

For one, he pointed out, the water bill from NWC is too high.

Second, the rate at which JPS is billing health facilities for electricity consumption is much too high, Francis said.

"The JPS needs to consider and think twice," Francis stated. "They can't be billing us the same rate as others, because we are offering free service."

"One thing we want from JPS, we want the bill to go down. It doesn't have to be free," the doctor suggested.

The donation from JN is to be used to, among other things, upgrade the electrical wiring at the facility. This will enable the usage of medical equipment that has been idle for a while.

When the equipment is returned to service, it will mean additional electricity consumption and higher bills for the institution.