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National Health Policy to be comprehensively reviewed in 2015

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A comprehensive review of the nation’s health policy and the drafting of a Patients’ Charter, will be addressed in 2015 as part of the process of upgrading the health sector.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr Ralph Gonsalves, during his presentation of the 2015 Budget said this year, $25.2 million of the capital budget is allocated to the health sector.{{more}}

While the review will build upon work that is already done, the Charter is expected to systematically outline the rights of patients and their own obligations and responsibilities, particularly as it relates to achieving their own healthy lifestyles.

“Unfortunately, some health administrators and health personnel have become accustomed to the belief that the health system is primarily about them and their sectional concerns. In the process, a glaring truism is too often missed: The health system is centrally about the patients who access it,” the prime minister explained.

“The Patients’ Charter of Rights and Responsibilities will rightly put the patients at the centre-stage of the health delivery system. The drawing up and proclamation of this Charter will necessarily trigger an informed national conversation on health, individually and collectively. Quality assurance in health delivery which is currently being enhanced, is required practically, to be appropriately enthroned.”

However, Gonsalves noted that many aspects of health delivery in this country continues to operate without change for the better and said that this was evident in the healthcare delivery services offered at clinics.

“There is insufficient consideration at too many clinics for the patients’ welfare and convenience of access at certain hours. Too many clinics are inadequately supervised; some function as though they are islands unto themselves,” the prime minister said.

This too, is expected to be addressed in the modernization of the sector.(BK)

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