Jamaican Government Endorses Pain & Palliative Care
In mid-November 2010, Dr. Jim Cleary, Director of the Pain & Policy Studies Group (PPSG), presented at a Jamaica Ministry of Health (MoH)-sponsored National Workshop with government policy makers, physicians, pharmacists and nurses, which was spearheaded by Dr. Dingle Spence and Mrs. Verna Walker-Edwards, members of the PPSG's International Pain Policy Fellowship (IPPF). Dr. Spence is a Palliative Care Oncologist at the Hope Institute Hospital and Mrs. Edwards is Chief Dangerous Drugs Inspector with the Ministry of Health.
The Workshop included nearly 50 key stakeholders and Dr. Cleary was the keynote speaker, providing information on the IPPF program, a global perspective on Pain Management, and the under-utilization of morphine in the world and Jamaica.
The Jamaican Fellows also presented the work of their Fellowships and the objectives they hoped to achieve, which include improving the availability of opioids in the country and creating awareness of the need for a pain and palliative care policy.
Dr. Cleary met with the MoH's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sheila Campbell Forrester, under whose responsibility the Office of Dangerous Drugs falls and who is supporting the objectives of the Jamaican Fellows, to reinforce the importance of the IPPF and the necessity of the MoH's support for Dr. Spence and Mrs. Walker-Edwards.
In a MoH-issued press release, Dr. Campbell Forrester states, "Pain management and palliative care must address patient and family discomfort and restore persons to their productivity level. It is important that we understand new methods of pain management and prevent misuse. Opioids are important and effective and we have to examine the policies and legal framework surrounding their use as we may need to adjust them to allow us greater flexibility and protect the health worker."
While Dr. Cleary was in the country, the Fellows arranged for visits to the two major hospitals in Jamaica; the University Hospital of the West Indies and the Kingston Public Hospital, for him to speak in an open forum. Other facilities visited were the Hope Institute Hospital and the Bustamante Children's Hospital.
Interviews with the Fellows and Dr. Cleary were recorded at Hope Institute Hospital and recently aired on Jamaica's major television station, TVJ.
Date Published: 12/23/2010