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World Bank lists Jamaica among top countries with improved healthcare access

Published: Sunday February 17, 2013 | 11:56 am Comments 0
The Kingston Public Hospital. - File
The Kingston Public Hospital. - File

Jamaica has been listed among 22 developing countries by the World Bank that have significantly expanded access to healthcare.

According to a report by CANA, even though the World Bank has identified several challenges affecting healthcare, it is convinced that Jamaica has taken adequate steps to improve healthcare delivery.

It says the country’s primary healthcare system was a model for the region during the 1990’s, as Jamaicans enjoy a better health status when compared to other countries in the region with similar income levels.

It highlighted the establishment of the National Health Fund and the removal of user fees in 2008 as efforts which indicate that the Government has been doing much to achieve Universal Healthcare.

The study also discussed policy options for achieving universal coverage.

However, the World Bank said the country is continuously challenged by persistent and re-emerging infectious diseases and an increase in non-communicable diseases. It added that Jamaica faces a severe debt problem, which has undermined economic growth and leaves limited fiscal space for improving healthcare.

Among the other countries included in the study are Argentina, China, Colombia Mexico and Nigeria.

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