Jamaican minister wants free health care for children at UWI hospital

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Monday January 30, 2012 – Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson has said government intends to push for free health care for children at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).

“I think a no user fee policy for children and adolescents at the University Hospital of the West Indies was analysed by leading scholars in this area to be a necessary and affordable policy. Even more so, is the fact that it affects the most vulnerable and dependent age cohort in our population,” he stated.

He was at the time addressing delegates at the 10thAnnual Caribbean Neurosciences Symposium and Workshop at the Montego Bay Conference Centre in St. James.

Dr Ferguson informed that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has consistently expressed the need for the no user fee policy to be fully implemented at the UHWI.

He said he would urge the new Board of Management of the hospital, to be installed shortly, to consider offering free health services for children and adolescents.

Meanwhile, he revealed that work will get underway soon, on the construction of a cardiac unit at the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston.

He said there is need for a similar hospital in western Jamaica that will meet the specific needs of the youngest members of the population. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)