More com­pas­sion for per­sons us­ing public health fa­cil­i­ties

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOCIAL SOMETHING EXTRA - Ja­son Cross Gleaner Writer ja­son.cross@glean­erjm.com

JA­MAICANS SHOULD soon be­gin to ex­pe­ri­ence more com­pas­sion from med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers when they visit public clin­ics and hos­pi­tals, Min­is­ter of Health Dr Christo­pher Tufton has said.

He was speak­ing to The Gleaner yes­ter­day at The Ja­maica Pe­ga­sus ho­tel, dur­ing the 10th an­nual stag­ing of the Kingston Public Hospi­tal’s Clin­i­cal and Sci­en­tific Con­fer­ence.

The min­is­ter an­nounced that a com­pas­sion pro­gramme will be launched soon.

“One of the chal­lenges we face in public health is that there is a per­cep­tion that we lack com­pas­sion as we de­liver care. Com­pas­sion is as im­por­tant as the ther­a­peu­tic process. You see it anec­do­tally in com­plaints. You see it also in cus­tomer sur­veys. One has been done by The Gleaner and the Na­tional Health Fund some time ago,” said Tufton.

“There is a sense that we are not as com­pas­sion­ate in our cus­tomer ser­vice com­po­nent, the pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence com­po­nent. We are go­ing to be launch­ing a com­pas­sion­ate care pro­gramme, guided by a com­pas­sion­ate care pol­icy, to im­prove pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence, not just on med­i­cal grounds. We be­lieve it is im­por­tant that peo­ple’s per­cep­tion and their state of mind be a crit­i­cal part of how we ad­dress their ail­ments. We have to find a way to mea­sure that over time, to de­ter­mine how ef­fec­tive we are in pro­vid­ing that type of sup­port.”

RE­DUCE WAIT­ING

Also ma­jor on Tufton’s agenda to im­prove pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence at the var­i­ous fa­cil­i­ties is the fur­ther re­duc­tion in pa­tient wait­ing times.

“In ad­di­tion to that, the com­pas­sion­ate care ap­proach will also help wait­ing time ex­pe­ri­ence, be­cause pa­tients will now wait in a more com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment. Wait­ing time is a big part of our pro­gramme. We have a re­duced wait­ing time ini­tia­tive go­ing on. It is in about six or seven hos­pi­tals, where we have im­proved the triage process in ac­ci­dent and emer­gency,” he said.

“We have ex­tended the open­ing hours of clin­ics and health cen­tres. We have seen im­prove­ment with the re­duc­tion of wait­ing time in those ar­eas. The pro­gramme is work­ing and we are putting it in an­other three or four hos­pi­tals. We are go­ing to con­tinue through­out all 23 hos­pi­tals.”

TUFTON

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