The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says it is providing US$100 million in loans to Jamaica to help strength the country’s national health care system.
The Bank said the funds will aid Jamaica’s fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
The strengthening of Jamaica’s health policies that target NCD risk factors and treatment, includes “providing higher quality care and improving access to public health networks, with an emphasis on chronic disease management,” the IDB said.
It said Jamaica’s NCD prevention policy seeks to address two main challenges. The first is prevention of NCDs by addressing four preventable risk factors: tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy dietary habits.
The IDB said the second is improving the quality of life and care for people living with NCDs. It also involves preventing premature NCD-related deaths.
The IDB noted that, five years ago, Jamaica developed the “National Strategic and Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Disease,” and the plan aims to reduce the burden of NCDs and injuries by 25 per cent by 2025.
Reduce risk factors for NCDs
“The Government’s goals for this loan program are to reduce the public’s exposure to risk factors for NCDs; to provide increased capacity in health centers and hospitals to diagnose and treat NCD patients; and to reorient Jamaica’s health systems to address prevention and control of NCDs through consumer-oriented primary health care,” the IDB said.
It said the hybrid loan includes two complementary elements: a US$50 million Programmatic Policy-Based (PBP) loan and a US$50 million investment loan.
“The PBP will fund the necessary regulations and policies to implement coherent and comprehensive health sector strategy. The investment loan will fund improvements in Jamaica’s primary care system, and will improve the management, quality, and efficiency of Jamaica’s hospital and health service networks.”
First in series of healthcare loans
The IDB said the hybrid program is the first of a programmatic policy-based loan series for Jamaica’s health sector, which comprises “two contractually independent and technically linked loans”.
The PBP loan, funded from the IDB’s Ordinary Capital, will disburse US$50 million within one year, with a grace period of 5.5 years. The executing agency for the PBP will be Jamaica’s Ministry of Finance and the Public Service (MOFPS), the IDB said.
The IDB investment loan of US$50 million will be disbursed over a five-year period, with a grace period of 5.5 years. The executing agency for the investment loan will be Jamaica’s Ministry of Health (MOH), the IDB said.