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Jamaica’s ambassador hails the contributionof Minnesota health specialists to Jamaica


Their outreach and health missions have touched many lives and helped improve healthcare delivery in many health institutions in Jamaica. This “sterling contribution” to quality healthcare, medical equipment and to improvement for a number of health facilities is “a genuine expression of patriotic devotion and an expression of love for Jamaica,” His Excellency Stephen Vasciannie, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, said of the vital support provided by members of the health sector in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as well as members of the Organization for Strategic Development in Jamaica (OSDJ).

Ambassador Vasciannie’s comments came as he delivered the keynote address at a dinner on Saturday, May 11, to recognize health practitioners drawn from the Hennepin County Medical Centre, Gillette Children’s Specialist Health Centre, Minnesota Children’s Hospital and Clinics, Mayo Clinic and the Minnesota School of Public Health. The event was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Plymouth, Minneapolis.

Said Ambassador Vasciannie: “I acknowledge the tremendous work – particularly in the field of healthcare – that you have been providing the health sector in Jamaica for the past six years. The country fully appreciates the contribution to our nation’s health sector, and we are truly grateful.”

He cited the specific examples of the Bustamante Children’s Hospital, the Kingston Public Hospital, Port Maria Hospital, Mandeville Hospital, as well as patients, which have, over the past 6 years, benefited from medical assistance from the Minnesota health Sector.

Ambassador Vasciannie made a further pitch for health tourism in Jamaica, describing new and emerging opportunities in what he said was an active area in which organizations and health institutions in Minnesota could participate. “Government, at this time, is seeking public, private partnership to development this vital area,” Ambassador Vasciannie told his audience.

Notable among the factors that have made Jamaica a good prospect for health tourism, Ambassador Vasciannie listed the global competiveness of the country’s health services, quality and sustainability of its health service system, and the country’s much lower cost per-capita for healthcare.

For his part, Mr. Wayland Richards, President of OSDJ – the organizers of the yearly health mission to Jamaica – said his organization was playing a lead role in galvanizing healthcare professionals in the Jamaican diaspora to help improve healthcare delivery for the island.

Mr. Richards outlined OSDJ’s main objective: to promote the development of young Jamaicans through scholarship, vocational skills training, using drama and sports; and to create a network among medical and dental professionals and institutions in the United States and Jamaica for the purpose of helping to improve the healthcare delivery in Jamaica.