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Eye-care centre opens - More Jamaicans to get free eye-care services

Published:Saturday | January 23, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Nadisha Hunter, Gleaner Writer

JAMAICANS ARE now set to benefit from free eye-care services at the ophthalmology centre established in the island.

The centre, which is part of the Jamaica-Cuba eye-care agreement, is located at the St Joseph Hospital in St Andrew and will be officially launched next Wednesday.

A total of 5,000 persons, including other CARICOM nationals, will benefit from the programme annually.

Minister of Health Rudyard Spencer said the treatment offered at the facility would be of a very high standard.

He was speaking on Thursday at a press conference at the ministry in Kingston.

"The old arrangement saw Jamaica and other Caribbean countries going to Cuba and accessing treatment for care. The arrangement is that pretty soon, they would put us in a position where all those English-speaking people would come to Jamaica and would get no lesser treatment, at no cost," Spencer said.

Spencer did not say how much this facility would cost the country but indicated that the amount would be minimal.

"The Cuban government furnished the equipment … very modern equipment. They have provided the full team and they are also going to train Jamaican doctors and nurses to work in that centre," he said.