As Jamaica braces for a possible increase in cases of the coronanvirus the government is seeking to have private health facilities provide care for certain vulnerable groups to prevent them being exposed to the highly contagious respiratory illness at health centres.
Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton says the arrangement is being made for people who are diabetic and hypertensive.
He notes that these two groups are particularly at risk of dying from covid-19 and care will be taken to ensure they do not have to visit public health facilities.
Dr. Tufton says the arrangement will be put in place for an initial four-month period.
“We have decided to , under this arrangement, take out two highly vulnerable groups - persons who have chronic hypertension and persons who are diabetic. This number, based on our clinic sessions - numbers about 75,000 across the country. The idea here, is to outsource those two sessional visits to private practitioners who will see then once or twice a month and we want to do this for approximately four months in the first instance.”
The health minister says a request for proposals is to be published soon.
The initiative is expected to cost $350 million.