Jamaica has awarded three contracts valued at over JM$40m ($440,378) to renovate sections of three healthcare centres in the western part of the country.
The first of the three projects is an upgrade of the kitchen at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St. James at a cost of JM$20m ($220,189).
Jamaica Health Minister Dr. Fenton Ferguson said the hospital kitchen is a critical component in the delivery of healthcare.
"The food that your patients receive is very important in their well-being, and their recovery," Ferguson added.
"If there is a problem at the kitchen, that easily can be carried over to further exacerbate the original problem that the patient would have come in for, so having a clean kitchen, sterilised areas…developing standards is very important."
Jamaica will also spend JM$8m ($88,075) on structural refurbishment of the Mount Salem Health Centre as part of its commitment to equip primary health facilities and free up secondary facilities to deal with specialised emergencies.
Another JM$14m ($154,132) will be spent to refurbish the medical ward of the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital in Westmorland.
The Jamaican government is also planning to develop an electronic medical record system across the country.
"… (We are) looking to develop an electronic medical record system across the country. Not just Cornwall Regional, but our hospitals and health centres in due course will become beneficiaries of a modern system of dealing with health records, maintaining confidentiality and good collection," said Ferguson.
The projects are being funded by the National Health Fund (NHF).
Image: Jamaica Health Minister Dr. Fenton Ferguson speaking at a contracts signing ceremony held at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St. James. Photo: Jamaica Information Service, Government of Jamaica.