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Ministry of Health Jamaica

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Ministry of Health Jamaica | Minter of Health - Christopher Tufton (Photo: of Health Jamaica | Minter of Health - Christopher Tufton (Photo:

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

Have you seen all the posters, news reports and media coverage about Covid 19 and Monkeypox? Well, all those informative resources are a result of the work of the ministry of health.

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The primary government agency with the mission to "ensure the provision of quality health services and to promote healthy lifestyles and environmental practices" is the Ministry of Health (MOH). The Ministry delivers healthcare throughout the island along with its Regional Health Authorities (RHAs), Agencies, and related organisations.

"Healthy People, Healthy Environment" is their motto when it comes to health. It envisions a client-centred healthcare system that ensures everyone in Jamaica has access to high-quality healthcare at affordable prices, while also taking into account the needs of the most vulnerable members of society.

It aims to inform and enlighten the public to encourage people to take control of their health, make informed choices, and adopt healthy lifestyle habits. All of this takes place in a hygienic setting where communities and families actively participate in the healthcare system.

Major Leaderships

  • Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, MP- Minister of Health and Wellness
  • Hon. Juliet Cuthbert Flynn, OD, MP- Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Wellness
  • Mr. Dunstan E. Bryan- Permanent Secretary
  • Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-Mckenzie- Chief Medical Officer
  • Dr. Karen Webster Kerr- Principal Medical Officer & National Epidemiologist

Major Divisions

Standards and Regulation Division

The Standards and Regulation Division was established in March 1999 as part of the Ministry of Health's Health Reform initiative. The Division's regulatory and administrative roles and responsibilities are carried out by three (3) Branches, namely:

  • Standards Research and Development

  • Investigation and Enforcement

  • Pharmaceutical and Regulatory Affairs

  • The primary purpose of standards research and development is to create new standards and guidelines and to update those that already exist that are pertinent to managing healthcare facilities in both the public and private sectors.

    This Branch is also responsible for quality assurance, where audit tools are created and used to evaluate whether healthcare facilities in the public and private health sectors are complying with standards.

Executive Direction and Management Division

The Ministry of Health's Executive Management division is in charge of the ministry's overall management and direction.

It is led by the Permanent Secretary, with assistance from several other Ministry sections, including Technical Services, Legal Services, Communication, and Administration.

These sections work to define and accomplish the health-related goals and objectives of the Government outlined in the Ministry of Health Strategic and Operational Plans.

Emergency Disaster Management and Special Services

There are several subdivisions under this division, they are:

  • Special Medical and Health Services / Special Events
  • International Health Regulation
  • Special Projects
  • Emergency Medical Care
  • Emergency and Disaster Risk Management
  • International Commitments and Projects

The ministry of health also has several agencies and councils, they are:

  • Agencies of the MOH
  • Pesticides Control Authority
  • National Health Fund
  • Government Chemist
  • National Public Health Lab
  • National Blood Transfusion Service Jamaica
  • National Family Planning Board
  • National Council on Drug Abuse

Councils of the MOH

Medical Council of Jamaica
Nursing Council of Jamaica
Dental Council of Jamaica
Pharmacy Council of Jamaica
Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine

Major Programmes

Disaster Mitigation and Emergency Services
The program systematically does the following:

  1. evaluates and manages health risks caused by emergencies and disasters;

  2. creates, implements, and tracks medical and health emergency and disaster management programs at the central, regional, and parish levels of the health services;

  3. establishes and operationalises the MOH National Emergency Operations Centre;

  4.  and develops, monitors, and supports the MOH National Emergency Operations Center.

Various methods are used to carry out the activities, including:

  • lowering risks by reducing hazards and vulnerabilities
  • preparedness
  • in response to
  • recovery strategies

Environmental Health

The management of outbreaks and emergencies involving vector-borne diseases was a major area of focus in this field. Another duty of this area is to monitor the Points of Entry.

The mission of the multi-agency team, which includes representatives from Jamaica Customs, Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), Ministry of Agriculture-Veterinary Division, Marine Police Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Food Infestation and Storage Division of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, and the Ministry of Health, is to develop certain core capacities to detect, assess, and then respond to Public Health Emergencies (PHEIC).

The Non-Communicable Disease and Injury Prevention Unit

Establishing efficient policies to combat non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Jamaica by coordinating the NCD Agenda and utilising efficient NCD and injury surveillance to make wise decisions is the mission of this division.

Major Roles

  1. Develop National Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and Control policies and strategies.

  2. Ensure an effective disease surveillance system for non-communicable diseases including injuries to define needs identify priorities, and guide policy and programme development.

  3. Provide leadership and coordination in the management of programmes for the prevention and control of chronic diseases and injuries.

  4. Capacity building and technical support on Non-communicable diseases including injuries prevention and control.

  5. Monitor and evaluate NCD's response to ensure ongoing feedback and program effectiveness.

  6. Support and foster multisectoral policies and partnerships for NCD prevention and control.

We are still amid the Covid-19 pandemic and now a monkeypox outbreak. A visit to their website will provide you with all the necessary information about both viruses and all other viruses that might be affecting Jamaica at that point.

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Return to Jamaican Health Profile from Ministry of Health Jamaica
Return to My Island Jamaica Homepage from Ministry of Health Jamaica

References & Sources For Ministry of Health Jamaica

  1. 2022. Ministry of Health & Wellness, Jamaica. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 September 2022].

Ministry of Health | Written: September 16th, 2022

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