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Ministry moves to improve reporting requirements of RHAs

Published:Friday | October 30, 2015 | 12:00 AM

HEALTH MINISTER Dr Fenton Ferguson says his ministry is moving to improve the reporting functions of the Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) in order to ensure the proper governance of the health sector.

"As it is now, the RHAs report directly to the minister. That is how the law has it, and so persons do not feel compelled to pass information on to the ministry, so we have to work out the act and the laws so that the governance arrangement can be better perceived in order to get the best results," he said.

The minister was speaking at the 42nd annual conference of the Jamaica Enrolled Assistant Nurses' Association on October 28.

In his address, Ferguson praised the commitment of the enrolled nurses to the national health sector.

"You represent a most important group. You have demonstrated your skills and your abilities. When there is industrial action, many times, you are there carrying the ball," he said.


Focused on policy, issues


The conference, which was held under the theme 'Optimal Support Because We Care' focused on the national health policy and other issues raised by the members of the association.

The RHAs were formed

by the passage of the National Health Services Act in 1997. Their establishment was in keeping with the Government's health sector reform programme, which saw the

decentralising of health service delivery.

Under decentralisation, the management and delivery of health services shifted from central government (Ministry of Health) to four semi-autonomous bodies, which have responsibility for the operation and management of health services within a defined geographic area.

These bodies are the Southern Regional Health Authority, the Western Regional Health Authority, the North East Regional Health Authority, and the South East Regional Health Authority.

The conference was held at the Hotel Four Seasons, Ruthven Road in Kingston.