Diaspora to help with healthcare in Jamaica

A delegation from the Jamaican Diaspora Canada Foundation took part in the recent meeting in Kingston to map the course of future assistance from the Jamaican Diaspora worldwide to Jamaica’s healthcare system.

The Jamaican Diaspora Healthcare Sector and Friends of Jamaica, in association with the Ministry of Health, hosted the meeting at the Knutsford Court Hotel, Kingston, on Thursday October 11, 2012.

The objective of the meeting, staged by The Jamaican Diaspora Healthcare Sector and Friends of Jamaica, in association with the Ministry of Health, was to strengthen the Ministry’s relations with healthcare professionals in the overseas groups and , and both groups’ extended networks. It was part of the ongoing effort to strengthen the framework for integrating overseas healthcare outreach to Jamaica into the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Health.

The meeting also served as the launch of the Advancements in Medicine and Healthcare 2013 conference (AIM&H 2013) scheduled for February 25 – March 2, 2013 in Jamaica.

Attending from the Jamaican Diaspora Canada Foundation, ( JDCF)were President Valarie Steele, who is also an member for Canada on the Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board, Dudley Morgan Director of Education, JDCF and Regional Director Yukon, NWT and Nunavut and liaison to May Pen and Chapleton hospitals, and Kingsley Gilliam, member of the Diaspora International Healthcare Planning Group from Canada and Director Social Services and Health JDCF.

Major outcomes of the meeting was the development of a mechanism for the Diaspora Foundation to play a pivotal role in the receipt, management and disbursement of Diaspora funds for Diaspora and Ministry approved projects and initiatives in the hospital sector and for the appointment of an hospital liaison for each hospital , to collaborate with the three Diaspora appointed liaisons from Canada, US and UK , assigned to each hospital.

Among the areas of greatest need identified by the meeting were the lack of kidney dialysis machines, blood pressure monitoring equipment and equipment to front line care providers such as clinics.
During the week of October 8th to 13th several critical meetings were held, including with the dhief Executive Officer of the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH)and an advocacy official of the South-East Regional Health Authority to review progress at KPH in resolving issues that resulted in a scathing undercover newspaper report.