(From left) Shawn Bolton, ICT Lead Consultant at the Ministry of Health; Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton; Carol Robertson, Director Enterprise, Government and IT Solutions at Cable and Wireless Business; Donna Hurmal, Senior Account Manager, Cable & Wireless Business and Garth Lue, Head of Project Management at Cable & amp; Wireless Business During the Tour on Thursday.
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Government of Jamaica is partnering with international donors and the private sector to close the first phase of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure, which will provide real-time data for hospitals and health clinics across the island.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, toured the nerve center for the system at e-Gov offices in Mona as well as at the warehouse at Carlton Crescent on Thursday.
The ICT infrastructure is part of the Government of Jamaica’s Health System Strengthening Program, which is being financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) with support from the European Union.
According to Tufton, when completed the ICT infrastructure will enable the island’s healthcare infrastructure to be on par with First World countries. The first phase costs US $ 8.2 million.
He said the e-Gov at the Nerve Center will be a storage facility that will keep patients’ information such as personal data and sick profiles stored in a tamper proof environment.
Tufton stated that the data would be able to be accessed by all public health facilities throughout the island by authorized individuals, which would eliminate the need for physical transfer of paper files. Doctors will also be able to assess, diagnose and treat a patient remotely.
“This is an advanced system that we are putting in. Never before has it been done in Jamaica and I suspect in the region and the benefit and beauty of this system, it is networking our national connection around health centers and hospitals.
“What is that going to do, it is going to allow us to move information very quickly and safely. That translates to a more accurate assessment of sickness and quicker planning to deal with that person,” Tufton said.
The ICT infrastructure at this stage will comprise over 2,800 devices, which will include desktops, laptops and tablets. These will be connected to the system, which is being done by Cable and Wireless.
He said the system is expected to be able to start using in September, which will signal the start of the second phase, which will involve placing a software on the hardware to do much of the complex work.
“All combined with what this means will mean that we have one of the most advanced technology-based health information systems, just as in any First World country, anywhere in the world and that is a good thing.
“It means we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in improving the healthcare system and ensuring that patients can be treated in a timely manner,” Tufton said.