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Ferguson establishes team to co-ordinate with Diaspora donors

Health Minister Dr. Fenton Ferguson Health Minister Dr. Fenton Ferguson
WASHINGTON DC (JIS) – Minister of Health, Dr Fenton Ferguson, says his Ministry has put in place a think tank, and an advisory body on Diaspora affairs and medical missions to increase the responsiveness of the Ministry and its agencies to health donors.

The move, Dr Ferguson says, is part of measures to better facilitate overseas medical missions and organizations that desire to assist the country’s health sector.

“These bodies will also act as the liaison between the Ministry and the Diaspora to ensure a responsive and streamlined process of engagement,” he said.

The Minister was delivering the keynote address at Help Jamaica Medical Mission’s (HelpJAMM) 4th Annual Black Tie dinner held on Saturday (November 1) in East Hanover, New Jersey.

He pointed out further that liaison officers are being identified for all public hospitals to “seek development assistance relating to philanthropic pursuits as well as public-private partnerships.”

Dr Ferguson said that the Ministry has also completed a gift policy “to provide guidance to our many donors and streamline the way in which we accept gifts in the health sector.”

He added that “while we continue to be very grateful to the many donors, who assist Jamaica each year, I would like to urge them to adhere to the terms of this policy to make it easier for donated medical items to clear Customs.”

Minister Ferguson disclosed that Jamaica realized savings of US$990,000 in pharmaceuticals from hosting 197 health missions in 2013, which represented a significant contribution to the health sector.

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