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Animal Therapy to be Implemented at the Bustamante Hospital for Children

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

An Animal-Assisted Recovery and Care (AARC) programme will be introduced this Christmas season at the Bustamante Hospital for Children by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

This programme was announced by Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, during a statement in the House of Representatives. Minister Tufton described the undertaking as “an innovation for Jamaica in public health”.

During the pilot, paediatric patients admitted at the hospital will begin to receive animal-assisted therapy. The AARC programme is a patient-centred intervention that will complement healthcare delivery to hospitalised paediatric patients undergoing procedures or who require long-term hospitalisation.

Minister Tufton added that the purpose of the project is to reduce the anxiety and stress associated with hospitalisation, reduce the length of hospitalisation, reduce the need for pharmacological intervention, and to improve the social environment for healthcare delivery. The pilot project for the programme will last 18 month.

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