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Doctors want health sector reformed urgently

Published:Friday | September 4, 2015 | 2:12 PM

President of the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association (JMDA) Dr Alfred Dawes is calling on the Ministry of Health to give the public more information on the recently concluded audit of the health sector and to immediately start investigations into how the increased budgetary allocations to the regions are being spent.

Dawes said: "The sector needs revolutionary short- and medium- to long-term plans to deal with the chronic shortages and mismanagement. The minister of health should set up a committee to include stakeholder groups to monitor the reform of the health sector and report to the public on the progress of the reforms stemming from this audit. We understand that releasing the full details of the report might not be prudent, but much more information can be given to the public."

Added Dawes: "We do not believe naming names will add anything except stigmatisation and prejudices against the health-care facilities and the very workers who have struggled to deliver care under the most challenging of conditions. However, there are details in the full report that will shed more light on the true state of the health sector."

He said that the JMDA's release of information months ago on the state of the health sector and its call for this audit have been done to educate the public and other stakeholders. "We would have preferred an independent audit of the health sector, but now that this audit has been done, the Government has the responsibility to make urgent reforms of the sector for the betterment of patients and staff."