Health Minister Inks MOU with UK Institution for Development of Centres of Excellence

Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with University Hospital Birmingham National Health Serive Trust (UHB) to collaborate in the development of Centres of Excellence at health facilities in Jamaica. The areas covered under the MOU include cardiology, nephrology, neurosciences and oncology. The agreement also provides for technical cooperation in nursing and bio-medical engineering.

The MOU is part of the Ministry’s thrust at expanding public health facilities and the range of specialist services offered. Already, steps are being taken to transform the St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Andrew to a 24-bed centre of excellence general hospital to enable it to handle certain specialist services, such as oncology. There has been significant investment in a linear accelerator, which deals with cancer treatment.

The MOU:

  • Records the intention of the Ministry of Health (MOH) and UHB to explore joint activity and enter into collaborative arrangements which will further the development of centres of excellence.
  • Each activity carried out within the broad framework of the MOU will be subject to the mutual written consent of the Ministry and UHB.
  • The MOU is non-binding. The details of the execution will be separately negotiated and mutually agreed by both parties through discussion and the signing of a separate legally binding contract.

The signing took place Friday morning (August 4) following the Minister’s tour of UHB. According to Dr. Tufton, “I was particularly impressed by what I saw during the tour of the facility and I am convinced that this represents the kind of partnership that will help our plans to expand our public health system.”

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust is one of the highest performing NHS organisations in Europe with a proven international reputation for its quality of care, information technology, clinical education and training and research.

UHB is a regional centre for cancer, has the second largest renal dialysis programme in the UK and has the largest solid organ transplantation programme in Europe. It also provides a series of highly specialist cardiac and liver services and is a major specialist centre for burns and plastic surgery.

“Jamaica needs more partnerships at the bi-lateral and institutional levels to improve health care provision, particularly in areas of training and specialist care,” Dr. Tufton outlined.