How sweet those words sound. I especially like the part that says, “He pointed out that all members of his team would be held to the same level of accountability, regardless of their position on the organisational chart”. Also, “Every porter, every ward attendant, every nurse, every doctor, every director, everyone, we must look within ourselves and ensure that the system is in place for this accountability,” Daley said. Maybe to truly incorporate this, we have to take a serious look at ‘nepotism’, don’t you think?
It is so unfortunate when based on present performances and the previous 30 years, the public health sector has been ignored by successive Governments yet we have no choice but to be hopeful. Be hopeful and hold this present administration accountable for continued ‘ills’ that plague this sector. We do not have the luxury to simply say we cannot afford to do the necessaries. We must understand that we cannot afford not to. Health is not a luxury yacht, car, house, jewelry or apparel; it is a reality between life and death of a Nation. Without basic health care at the public level, we are pretty much ensuring that we remain dependent and debt ridden for many moons to come.
A sick society has no prospects of hope, passion, enthusiasm, zest and energy for life. Your greatest wealth is your health. Not to grasp that is sheer ignorance. Wherever the money is to come from, it must be found to get our public health sector to that of 1st world standing. As we do for Tourism, we must hold our government to do likewise for Heath-care.
Dalley pledges accountability
HEALTH Minister Horace Dalley has pledged to hold all health care workers accountable, which he says is necessary for the ministry to fulfil its core mandate of ensuring quality care for clients who use public facilities.
“One key factor that we must look at in moving forward, one factor that is non-negotiable, that we must have is accountability. When I say accountability I mean from everyone — nurses, doctors, porters, administrators, everyone,” Dalley said.
The minister, who was delivering the main address at the official launch of Kingston Public Hospital’s (KPH) 240th anniversary celebrations and the official reopening of the William, Luke and Steventon wards at the downtown Kingston-based hospital on Wednesday, said that it is impossible for public health care facilities and the ministry to effectively carry out their functions in the absence of accountability.
“You cannot have a system in which you don’t know what time your doctors, your nurses or your porters come in or what time they leave. We must come together to design a system that will encourage the accountability of each staff member,” Dalley told attendees at the function.
He pointed out that all members of his team would be held to the same level of accountability, regardless of their position on the organisational chart.
“That is one of the things I will be insisting that we must have in this system. People must be playing their role; people who are paid to do a job must be playing their role. Every porter, every ward attendant, every nurse, every doctor, every director, everyone, we must look within ourselves and ensure that the system is in place for this accountability,” Dalley said.
According to Minister Dalley, accountability is not the only change that the health ministry will reflect in the months to come as there are plans to make changes not only to the infrastructure of several health facilities, including Spanish Town, May Pen, Cornwall Regional and Kingston Public hospitals, but there will also be a radical change in the medical record-keeping systems.
“We must correct the problem with the medical records, and that is one of the commitments that I am making today. This must be corrected. No modern, civilised society can operate where the records of health of hundreds of thousands of our citizens cannot be located and cannot be accounted for,” Dalley noting that he would not commit to make changes that the ministry is not in a position to implement at this time.
“While we cannot promise that we will do everything all at once, we will work and we will ensure that we go to the Ministry of Finance to ensure that we get the best support for the health sector,” Dalley said.
He said that the renovation of three wards that were reopened was proof of the ministry’s commitment to address the problem of space and bed shortage. The facilities, which were closed early last year to accommodate the renovation, now has the capacity to house 28 patients.
Dalley said that the total renovation cost stands at $59.2 million, $28 million of which went to the actual refurbishing of the three wards while the remainder was spent to upgrade the Nuttall Ward that housed the residents of the three wards while they underwent renovation.
The renovation included painting, roof and electrical work, installation of flooring, windows, bathroom and other fixtures.
On Wednesday Dalley commended the partners that made the renovation possible.
“The renovation of the Luke and Steventon Wards was a joint effort between the South East Regional Health authority and the National Health Fund,” he said.