The Ministry of Health and Wellness has signed contracts with five private health institutions in Kingston, to perform elective surgeries and provide recovery spaces for public sector patients.
This is being facilitated under the Public-Private Partnership component of the project CODE CARE initiative.
The institutions are the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), Andrews Memorial Hospital, Heart Institute of the Caribbean, Medical Associates Hospital, and Winchester Surgical and Medical Institute.
These institutions will serve persons in the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), which covers the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Catherine, and St. Thomas.
A total of 2,000 surgeries will be done under CODE CARE, which aims to clear the backlog of outstanding elective cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the signing ceremony at the Ministry’s Emergency Operations Centre in New Kingston, on Thursday (November 10), Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said approximately 115 surgeries have, so far, been conducted under the programme.
“This is an indication that it can work, and it is working. Most of those, 85 or so, were done in the west; that is where we signed the first [contract] with [four] institutions. The reward for this programme is to see the relief and the happiness on the faces of the patients in their beds,” Dr. Tufton said.
He noted that the Ministry has outsourced some 200 cases to the facilities in western Jamaica, based on the backlog of cases at Cornwall Regional Hospital and several other institutions.
“We are trying to pull about 200 to 300 [cases] here in the SERHA region, and we have compiled… up to 70 or 75. So we are still going through the files and trying to pull and get persons to come on board,” Dr. Tufton said.
For his part, Chief Executive Officer, Winchester Surgical and Medical Institute, Dr. Neville Graham, said many patients will benefit from the initiative.
“It is our responsibility, as private sector, to partner with government in this public/private partnership to make this… work,” he underscored.
Just over $1 billion has been budgeted for the CODE CARE programme, which aims to clear the backlog of elective surgeries in hospitals.
Of the sum, $80 million is earmarked for rehabilitating operating theatres in the public health system; $200 million for private-public partnerships; $223 million for equipment; $279 million for nursing missions, and $153 million for additional staff hours; $23 million for project management, and $59 million for communications.