|Ministry Making Efforts to Strengthen Oral Health Service|
|Tuesday, 12 February 2013 09:28|
Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson says a team from the Ministry will shortly be conducting interviews in Cuba as part of an agreement with that country for six dental surgeons to work in the rural sections of Jamaica. Speaking this morning at the Planning and Evaluation meeting of the Oral Health Services Unit of the Ministry of Health, held at Alhambra Inn in Kingston, Dr. Ferguson explained that this is a part of efforts to improve the ratio of dental surgeons to the population.
“Given the present situation I have had to negotiate with the Cuban Government to bring in six dental surgeons, expected to arrive by the first quarter of the 2013/2014 financial year. The team from the Ministry should be doing the interviews soon. This is just to fill a gap to ensure that parishes are not without a dental surgeon. I want to ensure that we will be in a position to take the kind of decisions to put the oral health portfolio on the right path,” Dr. Ferguson said.
The current ration of dental surgeons to the population is 1 to 17,000.
In the meantime, Dr. Ferguson said the he will be moving to acquire a mobile unit for the Service in the coming year. He said this is necessary to improve access and ensure that persons who would not be able to benefit due to geographic location and other issues can be given the opportunity to use the Service.
“This is another way in which we will seek to strengthen the service especially since it is also a diagnostic tool for chronic illnesses, a matter on which the Ministry is placing increased focus. We will also be developing the dental clinics in our health centres and the primary health care Centres of Excellence will have a section for oral health. In addition, equipment maintenance, acquisition and servicing are a part of our focus for this area,” Dr. Ferguson explained.
The Oral Health Services Unit Planning and Evaluation meeting includes persons from all four Regional Health Authorities and the Ministry and seeks to review the oral health programme for the year. During the process, programme plans and strategic issues will be examined. An evaluation of the programme will also take place to ensure that it meets the needs of the vision and mission of the Ministry of Health.
Contact: MOH, Public Relations Unit Tel: 967-1561
You can view this press release and other information on our website at www.moh.gov.jm