Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton yesterday expressed gratitude to the Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) for adopting 15 state-run medical clinics, even as he pleaded with other corporate entities to join in providing some basic and critical resources to these facilities.
Speaking at the launch of the Adopt-A-Clinic campaign, which was held at the St Jago Health Centre in St Catherine, Tufton said effectively financing public health has been challenging for successive governments, resulting in many facilities lacking basic resources.
“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,” said Tufton as he announced that members of the diaspora have committed to adopting 40 clinics.
“It’s not a call for major construction involving these facilities. It’s an attempt at ensuring that these facilities have routine maintenance services and, therefore, maintain their credibility in communities that they serve,” added Tufton.
He added, “First of all, primary health care is preventive health care. In any progressive society, there is a great deal of focus that is placed on health care in the community. This is to help citizens in the community to recognise the importance of living healthy lives and knowing their health status before it’s too late.”
In the meantime, Courtney Campbell, president and chief executive officer of VMBS, said his company has identified the gaps in the public health sector and is willing to play its part in assisting.
“Victoria Mutual was established in November 1878 and our purpose has always been about the upliftment of Jamaican people. The truth is, the non-communicable diseases account for more than three-quarters of deaths in the country, but apart from the deaths, the financial impact on the family is significant,” said Campbell.
By: Jodi-Ann Gilpin