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Published on : Aug 28, 2015

Jamaican Health minister Dr Fenton Ferguson has said that the Jamaican government has made considerable improvements in terms of access to sundry items and pharmaceuticals in the public healthcare sector. Also, the public healthcare sector will make even more improvements in the coming two years with the signing of 47 contracts between suppliers and the National health Fund. The contracts amount to nearly US$33.4 million or J$3.84 billion.

The contract was signed in Kingston, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel and included 576 items on the Jamaican government health’s vital, necessary, and essential list. Seven hundred and twenty eight contracts in the field of pharmaceuticals were awarded for the 24 month long contract period between 2015 and 2017.

The University Hospital of West Indies has also signed three contracts in July this year regarding the supply of sundry items and pharmaceutical products in a deal worth US$1,487,580.18.

The public health sector of Jamaica had dispensed nearly 3 million pharmaceutical products in the last year but there was still a major demand that exceeds this demand figure. Thus, the government is making moves to satisfy the unmet needs of the country by doubling the drug budget from $4 billion of the past year to $8 billion for this year, said Dr Ferguson.

This is really a considerable improvement in public healthcare spending by the country when the $898 million spending in the years 2004/05 are compared with the $2.4 billion spending in 2010/11 and the $8 billion for the present fiscal year. In the next two years, the public health care sector of the country will see even more improved access to pharmaceuticals in the public healthcare field, the Health minister of the country added.