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Growth & Jobs | Oncology nursing training gets a boost

Published:Tuesday | July 23, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mike Henry, has said the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund has committed financing towards the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ oncology nurses training programme for the next five years.

Making his contribution to the 2019-20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives last week, the minister said the fund was busy supporting a wide array of public social needs across the country during the 2018-2019 financial year.

He added that in keeping with its holistic approach to development, CHASE provided funding to train four biomedical engineers, two medical radiation physicists and four radiation oncologists to work at the centres.

Additionally, almost $400 million was provided to other health-related initiatives and facilities, including the health ministry and four hospitals, Jamaica Moves and the country’s vector-control programme.

Henry also noted that there was some welcome support of smaller facilities, including the provision of 13 standby generators for infirmaries.

In the area of arts and culture, $30 million was spent on the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s programme of activities over the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Another combined sum of almost $100 million was directed to support community and cultural facilities and initiatives.

In education, Henry said a combination of schools and programmes benefited from the CHASE Fund’s provision of almost $260 million over the operating year.

These included provision of funding in support of early-childhood education certification.

“By way of priority programmes, funding of $64 million was approved for the establishment of a fully equipped cardiac unit at the Kingston Public Hospital. The project was approved in 2017-2018 and will be completed in 2019-2020,” Henry informed.

He added that with cardiovascular disease now the leading cause of death and disability in Jamaica, the project is geared at acquiring critical pieces of equipment to establish the unit.

“Of note is that the cardiology unit will be the only one in the public health system in the south-east region, and will benefit a population of approximately 1.3 million,” Henry said.

Funding of $57 million has also been approved for the establishment of a 16-bed high-dependency unit (HDU) at the Kingston Public Hospital.

The HDU will offer specialist nursing care and monitoring to seriously ill patients who require greater care than is available on a general ward but less support than is given to patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and will decrease the pressure on the current ICU and recovery room.