Health Ministry Spends $2.5 Billion On COVID-19 Response Measures

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has so far spent $2.5 billion, of an initial $2.8 billion allocation from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, on efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to ensure the best possible health outcomes for those affected by the disease.

Among other things, the four regional health authorities, which have direct management and operational responsibility for the islands’ public hospitals and health centres, have also been provided with initial financial support of close to $750 million to boost their capacity to mount an effective response to the pandemic.

The University Hospital of the West Indies has also been provided with an initial $200 million to enhance its capacity to treat patients with COVID-19.

  

Also included in the expenditure to date arc:

• $500 million spent on the procurement of prescription drugs through the National Health Fund to ensure the effective treatment of symptoms of persons with COVID-19;

• $303,805,108 for the procurement of personal protective equipment that are an essential part of the personal protective equipment for frontline workers, including doctors and nurses;

• $194,683,664 for the procurement of some 32 ventilators that are vital for persons who may become critically ill, requiring support to breathe; and

• More than $2 million as an initial payment for the procurement of COVID-19 test kits.

Other costs covered by the $2.5 billion include the retrofitting of 5 facilities to quarantine or otherwise isolate and care for persons who are suspected or otherwise confirmed to have COVID19, including the installation of network infrastructure in some instances, and the provision of soft furnishings, together with handwashing stations.

Image Source: jamaicaobserver.com

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