Health ministry to clamp down on funeral homes

Health ministry to clamp down on funeral homes

April 10, 2019 0 By Horace Mills

Jamaica Information Service – Minister of Health, Dr. Christopher Tufton, has reiterated that new regulations will soon be enacted to officially establish rules under which funeral homes in Jamaica should operate.

Dr. Tufton was delivering the main address at the Meadowrest Memorial Gardens’ Annual Appreciation and Celebration of Funeral Directors event, on Tuesday (April 9), at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

“We have to have order in the industry. It’s very important to the normal functioning of our society, and we’re going to have to put those in place,” Dr. Tufton said.

He said the Government intends to address the regularisation, registration, and the establishment of appropriate standards and protocols regarding the operation of each funeral home.

“We will have to make it happen on the early side of this financial year, not on the late side, and I have made that very clear to the team. So stay tuned for that,” the Minister said.

Dr. Tufton said that funeral home directors need to seek the relevant information they need to become aware of the requirements in the new regulations.

“You should make it your duty to get that information. It means that you may want to start stepping up, if you have not done so already, to meet the appropriate requirements as to what a formalised industry or sector will look like. It may cost you some resources, some extra effort, training and some adjustment of your establishment, but don’t wait until the regulations are in place. Start preparing yourselves,” Dr. Tufton urged.

He said this upcoming change can be one that influences more partnerships among the various businesses in this industry, as those who do not meet some requirements due to lack of resources, can pool what they have with other persons in the industry.

“Together, you’re stronger, and the service quality is improved,” the Minister said.

The Ministry of Health had established guidelines for the operation of funeral establishments and mortuaries, which were published in 2014. The intent of those guidelines was to mirror the legislation for The Public Health Funeral Establishment and Mortuary Operations and Regulations, which will be reviewed by the Cabinet.

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