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Free treatment at University Hospital for children under 12

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has announced that, effective immediately, children 12 years old and younger can access free medical care at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).

Children will be treated regardless of the type of illness they suffer, the ministry clarified.

It added that the arrangement is part of its continued response to the increase in viral illnesses and consequent overcrowding at hospitals usually seen this time of year, including at the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

“Children and the elderly are among the most vulnerable groups, especially at this time as the country continues to battle with the increase in dengue cases and as the flu and gastro seasons intensify,” said Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie.

The ministry also reminded Jamaicans to only take paracetamol, and to visit the nearest health centre if their illness goes beyond three days.

Dr Bisasor-McKenzie noted that there are approximately 20 health centres across the island that now have extended opening hour – some up to 10PM.

“We encourage persons to visit their health centre as needed, and allow the health professional to decide if treatment is needed beyond primary care,” Dr Bisasor-McKenzie further said.

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