Code Care targets 250 surgeries by year end
Tufton pays tribute to pioneering nurses under initiative
HEALTH AND Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton has announced that 164 surgeries have so far been completed under the Code Care Project with projections for 250 procedures to be completed by year-end.
Tufton was speaking on Tuesday at a dinner for the first batch of six nurses working in Jamaica under the Code Care programme, which aims to reduce the backlog of elective surgeries caused by a COVID-19 disruption in schedules.
Tufton said that so far, surgeries have been carried out under the programme at the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston; at Hospiten, Montego Bay Medical, and GWest, all in St James; and at the Noel Holmes Hospital in Hanover,”
“We are yet to begin the Corporate Area public-private arrangement with the five private hospitals there, but we have tabulated the surgeries files, over 100 in the first instance, and those are going to be distributed to those five hospitals,” he said at the reception, which was hosted in Montego Bay.
“What Code Care is doing, in this instance, is relieving pain and suffering to hundreds and hopefully thousands of Jamaicans who have been waiting for an extended period, for sometimes relatively simple procedures, but they just cannot afford to access it in the private system, and the public system has not been able to deal with the demands of that process,” Tufton explained.
The Code Care project is geared towards reducing the backlog of approximately 8,000 surgeries, to include 220 hernia treatments, 250 prostate cancer treatments, and 120 hysterectomy procedures, by approximately 2,000 over a 12-month period.
Tufton thanked the six nurses, who were all assigned to the Noel Holmes Hospital, for being the first to participate in the initiative.
“Tonight, we are recognising this team of six that have arrived on our shores and responded to the call. This team, working with our local team, has done 20 surgeries, which was the target number for this group, and we do anticipate more teams will come starting, if not before Christmas, then in the new year,” Tufton revealed.
“You are the trendsetters, you are the ones we want to benchmark against, and you are the ones we want to go on the highest mountain top and shout the virtues of the programme,” he added.
Yvonne Goulbourne, a Jamaican who currently works in Maryland in the United States, said the initiative presented an opportunity to give back to her home country.
“I have done several missions abroad, and I have been to Nigeria and Ghana, but I have always wanted to give back to my country, and when the opportunity came for me to come to my home and give, I welcomed it with open arms. It was an extremely rewarding and wonderful experience,” said Goulbourne.
“I have worked many places, but ‘nowhere nuh better than yard’,” Goulbourne beamed. “For me, this is going to be an ongoing mission, and I am going to get as many supplies as I can and give my best to my people at all times.”
Shannon Greenberg, who hails from Philadelphia in the United States, was also grateful for the opportunity.
“I would like to thank you for inviting me to come to your beautiful country and to serve your community. It has been an amazing experience and I would love to continue coming back and helping to be a resource from the United States,” she said.