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Health Ministry Reignites Compassionate Care: Expands customer care response

KINGSTON, Jamaica. Wednesday, May 3, 2023: Minister of Health & Wellness,

Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton has announced the expansion of the Ministry’s

customer care response through the revision of the Compassionate Care


“The revised programme will seek to increase customer care training and situate

more customer care representatives in our primary waiting areas of our hospitals,”

the Minister said, speaking earlier today during his Sectoral presentation in


“The core mandate will be to oversee and tend to the wait experience, including

monitoring the wait environment to ensure patient inquiries are responded to

promptly and that the wait experience includes clean, sanitary surroundings,” he


Nine health facilities will form the primary focus of this component of the

programme this year: Percy Junor Hospital, Port Antonio Hospital, Annotto Bay

Hospital, May Pen General Hospital, Bustamante Hospital for Children, Mandeville

Regional Hospital, Catherine Hall Health Centre, Cambridge Health Centre, and the

May Pen Type 4 Health Centre.

“We will also improve access by patients to the complaints management system,

through the engagement of a business process outsourcing firm to manage, collate

and refer the patient experience and to ensure that there is an effective system for

tracking, recording and reporting the nature and complexity of complaints,” the

Minister explained.

“To achieve the expansion of the customer care function in our health facilities, the

Ministry of Finance & Public Service has provided the required positions to manage

and operationalise the Compassionate Care Programme in the Regional Health

Authorities,” he added.

As such, Dr. Tufton said, more than 20 new posts have been created and the

Regions are now actively engaged in recruitment to ensure that the intended

outcome of the intervention is realised.

“Patient-centred care is the pinnacle of an effective health system and we intend

to transition our service delivery model so that we do not treat the disease but the

whole person,” he said.

The Compassionate Care team is also to begin the process of training 90 per cent

of all personnel within the island’s health facilities in effective customer service

from a public health vantage point.

“This training is to remind our clinicians about appropriate bedside manner; remind

our administrative staff about courtesies and effective customer engagement and

establish systems for our security officers in effective communication and people

management,” the Minister noted.

“We will also introduce unannounced and mystery audits of the wait experience

with health centres and hospitals being assessed on the wait experience. We

understand the need to wait for services in public health, as this happens all over

the world. However, waiting can be more pleasant. It's our mission to enhance the

wait experience this year,” Dr. Tufton said further.

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