Moves on to improve health services

Stakeholders at the Consultation

The Ministry of Health is in the process of formulating a five-year strategic plan, the core of which would come from decisions taken at the recent National Consultation on Health.

Key stakeholders were brought together last week Thursday at the Grenada Trade Centre to look at avenues geared at improving the health situation on the island.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Isaac Bhagwan said it is important that every organization has a strategic plan to chart its direction, and to measure its objectives.

Bhagwan said his ministry is of no exception, indicating that since the last strategic plan of 2007 to 2011 has come to an end, the process has now been started to develop a new plan that covers the period 2013 to 2017.

The Government of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has identified Health and Wellness as one the transformational pillars of the national economy.

Prime Minister Thomas who declared open the one-day consultation spoke of health being one of the most important components in any nation’s development.

He said the focus must not only be on helping people to recover from an illness caused by a disease, but also looking at ways of preventing illness.

The Grenadian Leader also said attention should be paid on lifestyles that would help the nation to reduce on its spending on medicine.

“Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure have all been found to be associated with the food choices we make,” he said.

Prime Minister Thomas challenged the participants at the consultation to consider the traditional methods that worked for past generations, as well as new and improved elements that come with increased knowledge and scientific discoveries.

The Prime Minister said while government tackles the challenge of sustainable development, consideration must also be given to the role a healthy population must play in building the country.

Health Minister Senator Ann Peters gave her ministry’s commitment that the outcome of the consultation would be properly packaged and presented to Cabinet for its endorsement.

Sen. Peters said the vision of any health system is to improve the health status of the population.

However, the Health Minister said in order for this to be done appropriate action must be taken to prevent illness as well as to ensure the efficient delivery of high quality primary, secondary, tertiary and rehabilitative care.

She said the health systems of developed and developing countries have entered an era of unprecedented uncertainty.

Sen. Peters said although increased investments in these countries’ health care enabled them to achieve significant gains, the current fiscal challenges faced by these health systems are severe.

The Health Minister said it is hoped that the consultation would also bring Grenada closer to achieving its goal to improving the quality of services delivered to the population.

Seven areas looked at during the consultation are health financing, human resource management for health, health infrastructure, primary prevention, health services issues, rehabilitative, medical and sport tourism, and environmental health and protection.

The three main objectives of the exercise were to provide an overview of the current health situation in the country and to obtain feedback from stakeholders, identify challenges and opportunities to health and wellness, and enlist recommendations on the way forward for the development of the five-year National Strategic Plan.

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