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A few days ago, a decision was reached to enable the government to form ties with private healthcare providers to administer medical tests to the eligible public, free of cost. The main issue plaguing the country currently is that a lot of people do not have access to timely healthcare. The waiting time even for a simple procedure can be several months long. While the medical conditions by themselves may not be very severe, the pain and agony of the patients have to be considered. The employability factor of such people is also reduced drastically. To reduce this waiting time, the government has decided to partner with leading private healthcare providers.
The MoU between Caledonia and the Ministry
Caledonia Medical has been selected to carry out the medical tests prescribed by Public Hospitals across the country. This comes after the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that has been signed between the Ministry of Health and Caledonia Medical Laboratory. Simple laboratory tests are expected to be provided by the private laboratory as part of this understanding, which was signed on May 13 at the Kingston office and was announced by Portfolio Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton.
List of Hospitals and Approved Tests
This whole endeavour is being undertaken at an estimated cost of $1 billion. The list of hospitals that will be a part of this scheme includes Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), Bustamante Hospital for Children, Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Spanish Town Hospital, National Chest Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, and Linstead Hospital. Caledonia Medical Centre is expected to provide microbiological related tests to patients of these hospitals. It will be done free of cost to the patients. The main issue faced by the patients earlier was that they were asked to consult private laboratories for the tests if they wanted to expedite services. This resulted in financial strain on them and the current move by the Ministry aims to alleviate these problems.
The various tests that will be undertaken include a variety of blood, sputum and urine analysis. Apart from this, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRI scans, and even endoscopies will be done as part of this agreement. This partnership is an initiative to promote wellness and provide better healthcare services to the citizens. It will be overseen by a transparent governance framework which will help in working out the minute details.