Historically, the unit was structured to deliver front line repair and corrective maintenance to the wide range of bio-medical equipment and physical assets that existed in the island wide health sector, now the regional health authorities. A delicate balance and blend was achieved with regards to the quality, quantity and disciplines required to perform the varying and specialized maintenance functions. All bio-medical, electro-mechanical and civil works functions were co-coordinated and streamlined as one team and under one umbrella to provide a holistic approach to respond to the needs of the health sector island wide. In spite of the draw backs and deficiencies the system of management one way or other was able to deliver maintenance service.
With the advent of decentralization, four regional maintenance units were created. To facilitate the initial staffing of the regions, the HFMU staff were reassigned or seconded to the regional maintenance units with the South East Regional Health Authority being the major recipient.
Experienced senior Engineers and Technicians were retained to form the core of the new emerging unit whose main function was switched from front line maintenance to that of monitoring, auditing, and policy development.
To establish and sustain an effective and efficient quality maintenance system for specialized biomedical equipment and support infrastructure, in conjunction with other professional managers throughout the health institutions. Also to ensure that through a process of systemic audit and monitoring all equipment and support infrastructure of the Ministry of Health will receive the necessary maintenance and care allowing the health personnel to function efficiently and deliver health care to the people of Jamaica in a comfortable atmosphere, on a timely basis and in a cost effective manner.
- To develop and implement planned and corrective maintenance schedules for specialized equipment and support Infrastructure Island wide.
- To develop and pursue policies and programs to adequately and effectively monitor the performance of equipment and condition of health facilities in the regions.
- Implement programs to reduce overall downtime of equipment and guarantee quick and timely restoration of those in disrepair.
- To design and implement training programs with the aim of raising the competency of staff members and creation of a skills bank with the capacity to deliver training to the regions.
- To provide technical advice and guidelines on the procurement of equipment guaranteeing their maintainability in a cost effective manner, availability of correct spares parts and technical information and support.
- To develop maintenance policies and strategies to be pursued by the Ministry for the maintenance of equipment and facilities in the regions.
- To establish standards and guidelines for the operation, installation and repair and general life cycle management of equipment and support infrastructure in the regions.
- To provide planned and corrective maintenance for the common health facilities.
- To establish in conjunction with SITU a data maintenance management system to provide all relevant reports and information needed by the MOH for effective decision making.
The budget in essence was structured to deliver routine maintenance to the common health facilities which includes the KSN, Flamingo Complex/ In-services Education Unit, the National Public Health Laboratory, Blood Transfusion Services and School of Midwifery to provide technical supervision for monitoring capital projects in the regions, and to extend specialized technical services to the region health authorities for equipment repairs.
The unit will principally focus on developing a functional and empowered organizational structure. In the existing structure allocation are made for twenty five posts of which seven are non technical and remaining eighteen are engineers, technician and workmen.
For quick dissemination of information and ease of repair there is an established line of communication between the unit and the Regional Directors, Director of Operation and Maintenance and heads of departments.
The Director liaisons with the regional directors and Director of operations and maintenance under normal conditions.
The Head of the engineering section liaison with the Head of Departments, Maintenance Managers and Director of Operations and maintenance.
A flow chart representing said structure is attached in appendix four.
Preventative Maintenance to Common Health Facilities
Our goals are to ensure that proper maintenance is done to all the physical structures and assets in our portfolio.
Technical supervision to Special Projects
The HFMU plans to continue offering technical support in all disciplines of hospital engineering to the entire health sector.
Ongoing programmes and activities
The Ministry of Health is of the view that most of its critical equipment and infrastructure needs special attention to prevent the re-occurring patient care dislocation and the curtailing of services caused by the downtime of said equipment/ plant and structure.
The Permanent Secretary has made a special effort to provide a budget for these repairs/renovation and Plan Preventative Maintenance (PPM) programs for this financial year 2015-2016.
The Health Facilities Maintenance Unit (HFMU) has been mandated to execute a rigorous maintenance program to mitigate against the negatives of the MOH specialized equipment and structural failures.
This program’s planning and implementation is being carried out in four phases:
- The provision of a rational for the equipment/works to be targeted.
- The creation of a specialized team drawn from HFMU and the regions to execute same.
- The inventory and listing of equipment/works to be targeted.
- The creation of Bill of Quantities (BQ) for corrective/renovation works and planned preventative maintenance contracts.
- Equipment/Works Selection: The equipment/works are selected from the priority one (1) grouping. These items are necessary for the institution to provide diagnosis, stabilization, corrective works and security for patients.
These equipment/ works and relative departments are as follows: Radiology, CSSD and Sterilization, Operating theatre, Generators and main switch gears and Main air conditioning systems (Operating theatre). It must be noted that a failure in any of these elements will render an institution incapable of receiving and correcting life threatening injuries on any patient.
- Specialized Team: The MOH has had the need for all maintenance discipline in its institution. However within the MOH structure all of the required expertises are employed to the RHAs and HO and no entity has all of these disciplines onboard. For transparency and quick turnaround a national team effort is necessary. Permission for the utilization of these specialize personnel was sought and granted by the Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) who are in agreement with this program.
- Scheduling Assessment and Corrective Works: A schedule for all activities was made, notification sent to the Regional Health Authorities and the works have been proceeding on a continuous basis.
- Differed Corrective Works, PPM and Bill of Quantities: During these visits some corrective works have been done on some equipment and those equipment needing spare parts will be re-scheduled for action after the parts purchasing phase. For equipment that are functional and the MOH lacks the expertise to maintain same, these are listed for service contracts that is recommended to be handled using a collective bargaining methodology.
For all other works BQ’s are developed and recommendations made of how these works are to be executed.
- Work Execution, Acceptance and Monitoring: This phase is as captioned and the designated officers/office responsible for these activities will be listed. We must point out that a great portion of these works will be handled directly from the RHAs these activities will be an ongoing process that will continue thereafter.