A delegation from China is in the island to begin data collection to inform the proposed design of the Child and Adolescent hospital to be constructed in the Western section of the island.
The delegation met this morning with personnel from the Ministry of Health, the Planning Institute of Jamaica and the National Environment and Planning Agency at PIOJ to discuss the activities of the three week visit to the island.
This is in keeping with a request for technical cooperation from Prime Minister, Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller on her visit to China. As part of the Government’s priorities, the Prime Minister gave a commitment to building a modern, state of the art child and adolescent hospital to be located in the West.
Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson had indicated that the hospital was needed as presently there is a requirement for children to be transferred to Kingston to receive intensive care services, specialist services and appropriate care. In addition, there is currently no specific facility geared towards the needs of adolescents.
“I am happy that the members of the Chinese delegation were able to visit Jamaica to start this important process. The Health team and other Government agencies will be working with the delegation to ensure that at the end of the visit we can have an idea of the way forward in terms of design and budget,” Dr. Ferguson said.
He said the hospital will result in quicker access to diagnosis and treatment for children and adolescents, more efficient use of resources and a reduction in waiting time for treatment.
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary, Dr. Kevin Harvey said the hospital will provide services for children from 0-19 years old and will be the only such facility in Jamaica. It is proposed that the facility will be constructed on lands identified on the grounds of the Cornwall Regional Hospital.
“The idea is to create a facility that is integrated with the Cornwall Regional Hospital as there will be shared services. The hospital will be a modern facility which is self sufficient in many ways, energy efficient as well as environmentally friendly,” Dr. Harvey said.
The delegation is expected to leave the island on March 22, 2015.
Jamaica has benefited from developmental assistance from China for more than 40 years. This is however the first time in recent years that China will be providing support to the health sector.