Strong and Resilient Public Health System
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought into sharp focus the crucial role played by national public health systems and their ability to detect and respond to national and global health risks. The Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoHW), together with its Regional Health Authorities (RHAs), Agencies and related organizations comprise the public health system and are responsible for healthcare delivery in Jamaica. The MoHW which has oversight responsibility for the system, is mandated to ensure the provision of quality health services and to promote healthy lifestyles and environmental practices. The achievement of the Ministry’s mission is important given that a key national outcome in Vision 2030 Jamaica National Development Plan (NDP) is to maintain A Healthy and Stable Population. The Auditor General’s Department (AuGD) is conducting a performance audit to determine the extent to which Jamaica’s Institutional Framework is effective in enabling a strong and resilient Public Health System.
Why are we undertaking this audit?
- The AuGD is among other Supreme Audit Institutions around the world undertaking this audit, in support of a development initiative by the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). The INTOSAI launched the cooperative audit focusing on SDG 3d “Strong and Resilient National Public Health Systems”.
- Assessment of the achievement of Jamaica national goals and SDGs targets is a continuous focus of the AuGD Strategic Audit Plan.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about challenges for Jamaica’s public health system and the lessons learnt from this experience can be used to improve Jamaica’s response to future health emergencies.
We scoped the audit using a risk-based approach to determine if there is:
- an effective mechanism for the management of health emergencies, while delivering normal healthcare; and,
- coordination of resources in the health sector in the management of healthcare delivery and public health emergencies.
We also considered how the audit can contribute to the Auditor General’s wider strategic aims by:
- Promoting improvements in the use of public funds through better Governance and Resource Management; and,
- Highlighting the challenges of the current health system, the disjuncture between public and private service providers, and the need to consider lessons learnt from the pandemic to build a strong and resilient health system.
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