Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Our Health Services

According to Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI), since the implementation of the No User Fee Policy, there is a severe shortage of equipment and medication in our Health Services.  All this proves is not necessarily that it was not practical to have a no user fee policy but that Jamaicans are very sick. In order for a no user fee policy to work, Jamaica needs to put most of the effort and resources into Primary Healthcare (aka preventative healthcare). It makes no sense fixing what is unfixable but preventing the need to fix it in the first place. It is sad that primary healthcare as a concept was pretty much conceptualised here and we suck so badly at it.

As it stands most of the resources of the Health Ministry is placed on curative and rehabilitation rather than prevention. Many will disagree but technically, if those charged with the duty of spreading prevention were treated with a bit more respect and given the resources they need and held strictly accountable for their work then in principle their would be a smaller burden placed on the curative aspect of healthcare, therefore there would be no shortages in medication and equipment in hospitals.

Many will disagree but theoretically, Doctors should not be paid as much as Public Health Inspectors and Public Health Nurses, Health Educators etc. They are the vanguard of the country's fight against ill-health. The current situation exists because many of who create policies are the ones getting better pay. A health sector panel that includes equally every single aspect of the health delivery system must be set-up to tackle the issues our Health Services face. It is counter-productive to have so many 'technocrats' getting the bulk of the funding from taxpayers to have this sorry situation our country is faced with. Simple fix, now apply it!