EU provides $1.8-billion grant for building, upgrading of health centers

The European Union has awarded a US$1.8-bn non-reimbursable grant to Jamaica, as part of efforts to improve the state of infrastructure in the healthcare sector, especially in rural settlements.

This grant is also a part of EU’s broader Caribbean Investment Facility (EU-CIF) and was given to aid the Jamaican Government’s Health Systems Strengthening Program (also known as the Health Hybrid Program), a program that seeks to improve healthcare systems in the country, particularly in the handling of Non-communicable diseases. 

This latest grant will be added to the US$50m Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) investment loan, which the government previously secured to execute the program. The key target of the program is to renovate and upgrade 13 healthcare facilities, a move that will directly impact the quality of healthcare served to over 800,000 Jamaicans.

Other aspects of the program include upgrading the systems of operation at these facilities to take advantage of IT solutions, with services such as digitization of medical records, remote patient monitoring, and e-prescription.

Minister, Dr. Nigel Clarke, said: “We are working with the IDB to strengthen health capacity at the hospitals and the grant provided by the EU will allow for clinics within the catchment areas to also be upgraded, thereby increasing the outcome that we have as far as NCD prevalence and management is concerned.”

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