THE MINISTER OF HEALTH
The MOH is headed by a Minister of Health who is a senior member of the Cabinet, the executive arm of the Government of Jamaica.
Along with providing regulatory oversight for health facilities, the minister is responsible for health policy, food and control, family planning and pesticide control.
For a full list of the responsibilities of the Office of the Minister of Health, click here.
JAMAICA AND THE UN’S MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
The priorities of the Ministry of Health are selected based on national health needs and diseases, as well as the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for global development. As a result, priorities for the Ministry of Health include the need to reduce/control the spread of HIV/AIDS, focus on Maternal and Child Health, for example, reducing maternal mortality; and implementing the Healthy Lifestyle Policy, promulgated in 2004, to control the incidences of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (CNCDs) that are lifestyle related.
THE ABOLITION OF USER FEE POLICY
On April 1, 2008, the Government of Jamaica abolished user fees from all public health facilities except for the University Hospital of the West Indies. The universal abolition of fees came one year after user fees for children were removed.
The reasons behind the abolition of user fees are not unique to Jamaica, as a developing country and are as follows:
(a) User fees policy has been shown to be regressive and a major impediment to access to health. The Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions 2007 shows that 50.8% of the poorest quintile who reported an illness did not seek health care because they could not afford so to do
(b) User fees have increased poverty because they reduce the disposable incomes of the poor and deplete their asset base
(c) User fees policy impacts negatively on utilization resulting in deteriorating health outcomes, increasing morbidity and reduced life expectancy.
The health institutions where the no user fee policy in enforced include all public hospitals and government-run clinics.
Search for a government-run hospital near you.
Use diGJamaica to find a hospital or clinic in your area
Ministry of Health. www.moh.gov.jm/home
Auditor General’s Report on the Ministry of Health’s Management of prescription drugs
Public Health Act