|Review of “No User Fees” System to Assist in Creating Balance Between Access to Services & Quality Care|
|Tuesday, 19 February 2013 09:12|
Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson says the Government is committed to continue providing services at the primary care level without the imposition of fees.
He warned however that unless the Government is able to find additional funding for the health sector and people are willing to make a greater sacrifice, the sector will not be able to provide the type of quality care that Jamaicans deserve and that is need to create that balance between access and quality.
Dr. Ferguson was speaking recently at the Kiwanis Club of Constant Spring meeting held at the Mayfair hotel in Kingston.
“This is why a review of the present system has become necessary. These are times in which we need to be fiscally prudent as we are in a very tight budgetary space and going forward will be required to become even more efficient and effective in our operations. We cannot create greater access and at the same time compromise quality. In reviewing the present policy, we plan to undertake internal and national consultation with Jamaicans so that all stakeholders can be a part of the final outcome,” he explained.
Dr. Ferguson emphasized that the Government will not renege on its commitment to primary health care.
“This is a community based approach requiring community participation, which in the long run will result in better service and cheaper costs. The cost to care at the secondary level is higher than at the primary care level. PHC can allow us to focus more of our effort on prevention and control of diseases as well as health promotion and education,” he said.
He explained that this approach will invariably lead to reduced disease burden and a reduction in the prevalence of non communicable diseases (NCDs) or lifestyle diseases which now plague our population.
According to 2009 figures NCDs accounted for approximately 60% of deaths among men and 75% of deaths among women. Hypertensive diseases and ischemic heart disease were ranked third and fourth while breast cancer and cervical cancer ranked sixth and eighth in terms of the top ten causes of death in Jamaica.
Contact: MOH, Public Relations Unit Tel: 967-1561
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