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Health Direction Set

PAHO/WHO Representative in Jamaica Margareta Sköld addresses the final stakeholder meeting before the policy is presented to Cabinet.

Following an inclusive consultation process, the Minister of Health the Hon. Mark Scotland presented the completed National Health Policy and Strategic Plan for the Cayman Islands to a final stakeholder meeting last week (Thursday, 21 June).

"While there are many good things about healthcare in the Cayman Islands, we are facing many challenges, including increasing costs and the need to ensure equitable access," Minister Scotland told the meeting.

He continued, "The National Health Policy and Strategic Plan will provide the much-needed over-arching policy framework to help us address the challenges that we face, as well as helping us to capitalise on the opportunities that we have to enhance and promote health and well-being for all in the Cayman Islands. I want to thank all those who contributed their knowledge and expertise to come up with this document."

The policy document is a product of several stakeholder meetings including participants from the public and private sector across industries which were held in May and June.

"With everyone's input, we have now arrived at a simple and straightforward document that gives us a clear-cut vision and objectives," the minister noted.

The minister also emphasised the document's focus on preventative and pro-active healthcare. "People must take more responsibility for their health and I believe this policy lays the groundwork for a culture of pro-active healthcare where we move away from sick-care to wellness care."

The formulation of the National Health Policy and Strategic Plan was facilitated by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO). Also speaking at the meeting was the PAHO/WHO Representative in Jamaica Margareta Sköld.

"I commend Mr. Scotland for his leadership in this process. The new policy is a very realistic document that acknowledges the strengths in your system and recognizes existing partnerships," she stated.

Urging stakeholders to stay engaged in the process of implementation, she noted that the policy document "is not an end in itself" but should be viewed as a practical plan to achieve the country's goal of ensuring affordable and accessible healthcare for all.

The policy document will be presented to Cabinet and upon approval will be tabled in the Legislative Assembly.

For further information contact: Cornelia Oliver