National News

A Cure is Needed for Jamaica’s Dysfunctional Healthcare System

by Howard Campbell

[SOUTH FLORIDA] – The shortcomings of Jamaica’s healthcare system is the greatest concern to people living in the country’s Diaspora. According to attorney Wayne Golding, this was outlined to Mark Golding, leader of the People’s National Party (PNP) on his recent visit to South Florida.

The Orlando-based Golding (no relation) said inadequate medical facilities and services are a deterrent to thousands of Jamaicans returning home.

Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board Member Wayne C. Golding, Sr., Esq.
Wayne C. Golding, Sr., Esq. (file photo)

“A community like Portmore does not have a hospital, a public hospital. How do you square that? And Jamaica is running so far ahead and we have all these things that we boast about, but the basic things we are still not addressing, like public health. We should be ashamed, we told him as it is,” Golding stated.

A former member of the Jamaica Advisory Board representing the Southern States, Golding was raised in Portmore, a massive housing scheme on the outskirts of Kingston, Jamaica’s capital.

Portmore is home to over 250,000 persons, most of whom head to Kingston when health care is required.

With health care of first world standard just a phone call away in the United States, Golding says it is unlikely Jamaican seniors living here would return to a country with a dysfunctional healthcare system.

healthcare in Jamaica

Better 119 System

“The 911 principle I call it. Here, if you get sick in the middle of the night, you pick up the phone and call 911, and in three to five minutes you have ambulance, fire and police. We don’t expect the three to five minutes in Jamaica but at least let’s start where we can have quality infrastructure that can be maintained,” he declared. “Sixty years after independence, we are still struggling with public health, and no Diasporan wants to go back and put themselves in that situation.”

An immigration lawyer, Golding said health care and the tedious nature of legal transactions in Jamaica, outweigh the perennial problem of crime, for the average Diasporan.

The Mark Golding-led delegation arrived in South Florida on July 13. He held talks with civic leaders including Wayne Messam, mayor of Miramar. They also made stops in Atlanta, Georgia, Washington DC and New York during their week-long trip.


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