The Ministry of Health and Wellness has created a physician workforce document, that will provide the framework for the engagement of more doctors in both primary and secondary care.
This is in keeping with the country’s efforts to achieve Goal Number 3.8 of the Sustainable Development Goals, which is to achieve universal health coverage (UHC), including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality, and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
Speaking at a recent Meeting of Commonwealth Health Ministers in Geneva Switzerland, portfolio minister, Dr Christopher Tufton said UHC can only be achieved through building on existing foundations, to ensure that the changing demands for health services are met by an upgraded and responsive primary health care system.
He noted that providing the framework for the engagement of doctors was in keeping with those demands, and that other health care provider groups are currently being reviewed to ensure that there is capacity for delivering quality and comprehensive care in all areas.
“Jamaica has embarked on a reform of primary health care, which is in keeping with [the Ministry’s] 10-year strategic plan and this will see an expanded scope of services, as well as an enhancement of existing services in keeping with the evolutions that have occurred in the health needs of the population,” Tufton said.
The minister also acknowledged that improving Jamaica’s UHC service coverage index, is hinged on increasing access, as well as re-sensitizing the population to their health needs and reorienting them into utilizing the primary health care system.
In the meantime, Tufton noted that health literacy is essential to moving the population towards a healthier lifestyle and towards achieving UHC.
He further encouraged all countries to renew and revamp policies and programmes to educate the public on critical health matters, including mental health issues that will enhance other campaigns.