Fri | Oct 15, 2021

Get private sector more involved

Published:Monday | October 4, 2021 | 12:06 AM


Organising a national vaccination programme is a monumental, logistical process that required the Ministry of Health’s collaboration with the private sector, from the time the Government announced our borders would be, once again, opened. This, unfortunately, was not done.

The local private sector, as a collective body, is the best at marketing, strategising, planning and executing programmes, throughout Jamaica. That is why Jamaica has achieved much through its long running Crime Stop programme; has proved effective in its economic oversight, through EPOC; has earned the respect and admiration of the international community, via highly successful companies like Sandals International, GraceKennedy, Devon House I-Scream, and Dolphin Cove, to name a few.

The current national vaccination programme would have achieved far more than it currently has, had the private sector been brought on board by the Government much earlier that what ensued.

In fact, had the private sector been mandated by the Government to plan, manage and execute the vaccination programme, with the Government supporting and assisting the private sector, via the provision of adequate funding; sufficient health workers recruited to vaccinate citizens; and procuring vaccines, I have no doubt that, today, Jamaica would have been in the top three most vaccinated countries in the region, as opposed to being only behind Haiti with the lowest vaccination rates.

Also, were the private sector placed at the helm of the vaccination programme, I have no doubt that vaccine dumping would be minimal, at worst, and nonexistent at best.