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Posted on 10/06/2021 in Health & Wellness

Improvement of Our Jamaican Medical System

Improvement of Our Jamaican Medical System

Improvement of Our Jamaican Medical System

     Many Jamaicans over the past 100 years have depended mostly on herbal medical care. We have Memories of our Grandparents treating us with Bush Medicine, which was sworn to be for treating anything from the common cold to severe pains. It is well known and still being used in many rural communities, while we do have a viable medical system. 


For the past 50 years, Jamaica has improved in medical care services. We have had many talented doctors who are making very important contributions to our people. Though stretched thin on resources, our doctors are working tirelessly to ensure the nation’s sick get the best care. While we do need much improvement in equipment, affordable medicines, more hospitals, beds, and the list goes on. The Jamaican Government has implemented many systems to get our medical services on track to being comparable to first-world systems.


Areas of Great Concern for Upgrade

  • Reduction of NCD or Non-communicable diseases
  • Substance abuse care
  • Public health facilities waiting time reduction
  • Clinic and Surgical services upgrades
  • Availability of medical types of equipment and qualified technicians to operate them
  • Pharmacy Services
  • Critical care nurses services
  • Reduced time for diagnostic services
  • Expansion of Bed capacity
  • Digitizing Medical records in the public health care system


The list is exhaustive; however, the Minister of Health Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton has sought to add more modern services while working on fixing the above list and more. He has put in the pipeline the soon-to-be availability of Telemedicine. This will allow diagnosis, consultations, and treatment in real-time of patients across the island. The pilot project has already started in Black River, Bustamante Children’s Hospital, as well as May Pen. 

This is a big plus for the health sector as it will be more coordinated for the treatment of patients, who will not have to redo tests and engender follow-ups where needed.



Although drug acquisition is challenging, the health ministry has embarked on making the drugs and pharmaceutical establishments more accessible to patients. It is more centralized, and in every public health care facility, whether a hospital or health center, there is a pharmacy with a qualified pharmacist. Drugs are dispensed readily and a free drug program is being funded by the Ministry of Health to help offset the high costs of drugs. There is an NHF /JADEP health card that aids in persons being able to get well-needed medications to treat various medical issues. There is also free health care for the country, which is available to all. Free health care also expands to cancer care which is utilized by persons who have been diagnosed. The treatment of radiation and chemotherapy although costly, many persons are benefiting from the program. 

Jamaica may be a small island, but the people have big dreams and visions for their country. It is up to the Government to ensure much of the needed comforts of life are afforded the citizenry. Our Diaspora community is helping in many ways, but the need is great. We have to work together to ensure a sustained force of effort is employed.


To get more information, here is the Sectoral Presentation 2016 by the Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton. https://jis.gov.jm/media/Sectoral-Presentation-Dr.-the-Hon.-Christopher-Tufton.pdf



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