Hospital waiting time project to expand
Health minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, is anticipating a full rollout of the Ministry's Reduction in Waiting Time Project in all public hospitals by April 1 next year.
The initiative, which was introduced in seven hospitals under a $350-million pilot, aims to significantly reduce patient waiting time at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) rooms.
Dr Tufton said based on the feedback, "the pilot seems to be working", adding that the ministry is "tweaking it as we go along".
"I believe that come the next financial year, we will be able to conclude on how it has gone and hopefully institutionalise that arrangement to improve customer care and have a faster rate of response for patients who enter the Accident and Emergency room," the minister said.
Dr Tufton reiterated the importance of timely public health-care delivery, noting that "when a person is ill and requires (medical) attention, long waits can affect and stymie the healing process".
The initiative was introduced in the Bustamante Hospital for Children and Kingston Public Hospital in Kingston; Spanish Town Hospital, St Catherine; May Pen Hospital, Clarendon; Mandeville Regional Hospital, Manchester; Cornwall Regional Hospital, St James; and St Ann's Bay Hospital, St Ann.
Its provisions include increased customer-service personnel and reception windows; extended opening hours for clinics; and the introduction of an e-triage system to log, categorise and register patients.