Ageing population seeking healthcare
Dr Tanya Hamilton-Johnson, senior medical officer and head of surgery at the St Ann's Bay Hospital, has pointed to the need for expansion of public health services to meet the needs of Jamaica's ageing population.
"What we are seeing is that the ageing population is related to quite an increase in the number of cases of diabetes, hypertension and the associated complications. We are seeing a lot of burden coming from that group," she said, adding that "mental health illnesses also impact on that."
Hamilton-Johnson was speaking at the St Ann leg of the 'Dialogue for Development Series' hosted by the Planning Institute of Jamaica in Ocho Rios recently.
She said it is critical that older people be empowered to take care of their health so that they can continue to make a valuable contribution to the country.
"This is a very powerful group. Many times I had the opportunity to sit with them and talk with them about their lifestyle. I think there is so much potential from this group in terms of productivity, but in order to be productive, you have to be healthy, therefore, I will start with preventive," she said.