Mandeville Weekly News


Posted by Editor (Wendy) on Jul 19 2017 at 3:00 PM
Mandeville Weekly News >>

Having already invested over $750 million in the health sector, through the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), the Ministry of Tourism is again partnering with the Ministry of Health on a programme to safeguard the health of visitors and locals, while ensuring sustainability of the hospitality industry.

The Tourism Health Information, Monitoring and Response Systems (THRMS) Programme was officially launched on July 6 and is being coordinated by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Giving the keynote address, Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett disclosed that the TEF financial contribution to the health sector had gone towards the purchase of equipment, vector control programmes, improving services and upgrading local health facilities. 

In keeping with the commitment of the tourism ministry to play an active and vigilant role in the protection and preservation of the country’s health environment, an islandwide response to the threat of ZikV received $250 million while $21 million was allocated to purchase fogging machines for vector control in Westmoreland, Hanover, St. James and Trelawny.

In addition, more than $226 million was contributed to construct a trauma centre in western Jamaica and $6.7 million to purchase an ambulance for the Negril resort area.

Supported by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourist Association (CHTA), the programme recognizes that given the region’s dependence on tourism, the health of Jamaica’s and other Caribbean economies is closely related to the health and sustainability of the industry.

Endorsing the programme, Minister Bartlett pointed to the key importance of health security, not just to tourism, but to the economy of the Caribbean as a whole. “Tourism is more than arrivals or earnings; it is a series of interconnected values in the very long and sometimes endless chain and health is such a key part of that chain of connection from which we secure the integrity and reputation of our destination,” he said.

The Minister said that health was  seen for its impact both as a product and an economic activity as well as an integral part of the health and wellness of the nation.

The CARPHA Health and Tourism Programme therefore enhanced Jamaica’s advantage as the leading tourist resort in the Caribbean.  He said he was  very pleased that we in Jamaica have taken the proactive position of implementing the programme, emphasising that health was central to the tourism ministry’s destination assurance initiative as “nobody visits an unhealthy community.”