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Health Policy Discussed

The Hon. Minister of Health Mark Scotland, JP opens the National Health Policy and Strategic Plan meeting.

A two-day meeting to discuss and draft the Cayman Islands' first National Health Policy and Strategic Plan started in Grand Cayman this week (Thursday, 3 May).

"One of the gaps I identified when I took up office three years ago was the lack of an overarching, guiding policy that outlines our vision, goals and objectives for our health system," said the Hon. Minister of Health Mark Scotland, JP at the opening of the summit.

The Minister noted that while the Cayman Islands have good healthcare as well as the necessary components for a good health system, a robust National Health Policy and Strategic Plan is needed to answer a growing number of challenges.

"At a time when we face rising healthcare costs and shrinking budgets, it is imperative that we do so with a clear vision and a strong sense of direction. With a clearly defined National Health Policy we will be able to move from strategy to implementation, efficiently and purposefully," Minister Scotland stated.

The formulation of the National Health Policy and Strategic Plan is facilitated by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO). Speaking at the opening, PAHO/WHO representative Ms. Marilyn Entwistle, Health System & Services Development Advisor for Jamaica, Cayman Islands & Bermuda, echoed the Minister's sentiments.

She noted: "The Cayman Islands has certainly made great strides in providing healthcare. And while they are the envy of the region in many aspects, there are challenges which have developed over time and the country needs a robust national health policy to address these problems, as well as the growing expectations for healthcare."

With one of the key exercises of the workshop being the definition of a vision for healthcare in the Cayman Islands, Minister Scotland urged participants to pay specific attention to making healthcare more affordable, improving access and quality and promoting increased collaboration between public and private healthcare providers.

The minister also offered his own vision for the future of the Islands' healthcare system: "Within the next three years the Cayman Islands health system will be the star of the Caribbean - we will be the best that we can be in patient satisfaction, accountability, quality and efficiency. We will promote public/private collaboration across the health system and we will not only treat sickness, but promote wellness."

For further information contact: Cornelia Oliver




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