Tue | Aug 3, 2021

Medical officer wants to revive Hanover’s district health committees

Published:Monday | January 6, 2020 | 12:31 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
Dr Kaushal Singh, medical officer of health for Hanover.
Dr Kaushal Singh, medical officer of health for Hanover.

Western Bureau:

Dr Kaushal Singh, medical officer of health for Hanover, will be gunning for a revival of district health committees and installation of pharmacies at various district health facilities across the parish to improve the local health service during 2020.

Singh made the disclosure in a recent interview with The Gleaner, in which he also praised the Hanover Health Department’s retention of medical personnel despite challenges in the sector.

“In the past, we would have those district health committees, but now they are not meeting. That will be my first priority for 2020 – to revive those committees,” said Singh. “I’m also looking at having a pharmacy in all our district health facilities for 2020, and if the National Health Fund can expedite that request, people will not have to travel long distances to access their medication.”

Singh commended the health department for being able to keep the western parish’s 19 health centres open despite a severe shortage of nurses and primary-care doctors and a challenge in bringing new recruits into the parish.

“We have a space challenge in all our health centres, but out of these odds, I can safely state that we managed to retain some of the doctors in primary care, although in secondary care, it is still a problem. It is not that we are not trying to recruit personnel, but nobody is taking up the offerings right now,” said Singh.

In addition to Hanover’s 19 health centres, the parish is also served by the Lucea-based Noel Holmes Hospital, which offers primary care services and basic secondary care. It is one of two Type C facilities under the Western Regional Health Authority, the other being the Falmouth Hospital in Trelawny.

Singh is urging Jamaicans to be more proactive with their personal health in controlling non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes in 2020.

“We are heavily burdened in terms of the number of hypertension and diabetes cases, and a regular exercise regime and a proper diet can help,” he stressed.