$950 million allocated to CODE CARE project Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

A total of $950 million has been allocated to the CODE CARE project, with most of the funding going to the renovation and upgrade of nine operating theatres at four hospitals.

These upgrades will enhance the throughput of surgeries within hospitals.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, made the disclosure during a statement to the House of Representatives on November 15.

“Teams have begun the process of developing the estimates for the renovation of the facilities and the ministry will be utilising emergency procedures, where possible, to effect the works that are urgently required on these facilities,” said Tufton.

Project CODE CARE is one of several initiatives that the ministry is implementing to reduce the backlog of elective surgeries due to COVID-19. It seeks to leverage the capacities of the private sector to provide access to care for public-sector patients.

Tufton said that the intention is to remove 2,000 persons from the surgery backlog, providing them with health services that improve their quality of life.

He told the House that the ministry has successfully signed eight agreements with private institutions for the delivery of more than 500 surgeries, which are anticipated to take place over the next 10 months.

To date, more than 170 patients have received elective surgeries, many of whom have been waiting for over four years.

“This number includes approximately 35 children, who received ear, nose and throat procedures at the Bustamante Hospital for Children,” Tufton said.

The minister told the House that an overseas mission will be in Jamaica from December 1 to 6, and the team of six nurses and one anaesthesiologist from the United States will work with their local counterparts at the Noel Holmes Hospital in Hanover to cover more than 30 patients on the surgery list.

Some of the procedures that will be performed in this first mission include hernia and hysterectomy surgeries.

Meanwhile, Tufton said as part of addressing the post-COVID challenges, the ministry has embarked on a strategic shift in the approach to healthcare delivery, with greater focus placed on developing and structuring partnerships to enhance universal access to care.

Accordingly, two agreements have been signed with the University of Miami and the Hartford Health System to mitigate the training and staffing challenges that Jamaica face.

“As part of the overall approach, these agreements seek to create opportunities for training and development, but more importantly, to examine possibilities for addressing the challenges of human resource in health,” Tufton said.

He added that the agreements open the doors for greater collaboration in technology and the enhanced use of telemedicine for the delivery of healthcare and the training of specialists within the sector.

An assessment shows that more than 7,000 persons are awaiting elective surgeries, with a vast majority pending for more than two years.