Ministry of Health Seeks Public Assistance Through Adopt - A - Clinic
Effectively financing public health has proven to be a challenge for successive Governments, resulting in many healthcare facilities lacking some of the basic resources needed to operate efficiently.
In response, the Ministry of Health yesterday launched the Adopt - A - Clinic programme which aims to improve primary health care facilities by soliciting and partnering with local and international corporate entities and individuals to provide some of the basic and critical needs of the facilities.
Minister of Health, Dr. Chris Tufton said even though Government has allocated a budget to the country’s health care, facilities at times are less than adequately resourced.
“We are seeing where a number of clinics across Jamaica are in need of basic routine maintenance such as chairs for the waiting area, simple diagnostic equipment like a blood pressure machine, a television or even an annual paint job. Adopt - A - Clinic allows people to be a part of the prevention rather than the cure. So the purpose is to get people on board to play an active role in filling these gaps,” Dr. Tufton said.
Adopt - A - Clinic encourages corporate Jamaica, individuals and members of the Jamaican Diaspora to support public health care by providing some of the basic resources that are lacking.
“The adoption is not intended to require of persons major expenditure, its more about routine maintenance and support so the facilities maintain their credibility by offering services efficiently, which would keep people coming and reduce the risk of them waiting too long before seeking treatment.”
Dr. Tufton said primary health care is absolutely essential as part of the public health response, it is the critical preventative measure, providing advice and support while building better community participation in preventable disease. He stressed that health centres and clinics are the community points where residents can go to know their health status and not wait till they are critically ill to visit hospitals, which oftentimes result in an overcrowding of hospitals and long waiting times.
“In giving back to the community and country, the adopter will play an active role in ensuring that these primary health facilities and health centers are equipped sufficiently to administer preventative health care at the community level.”
To ensure transparency, Dr. Tufton said annual reports will be provided to adopters, detailing the performance of the clinic and how their adoption has helped with the improved efficiency.
“Adopters will get a report once per year to say how many persons the clinic has accommodated and how their donation, whether in cash or kind, has assisted them. They will also get pictures and constant feedback on the performance of the clinic through a website that will be established where they can go and identify their adopted clinic and see what their resources have been used for.”
Three hundred and twenty clinics have been identified across Jamaica that are in need of support, with 100 of those identified as being critical. Dr. Tufton said that the Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) has already committed to adopt 15 clinics with members of the diaspora committed to adopt an additional 40 facilities.
Adopt - A - Clinic is in conjunction with the National Food Industry Task Force and Jamaica Moves which are preventative programmes launched by the Ministry of Health this year to fight against non communicable diseases.
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