Healthcare is a fundamental right, not a privilege, according to head of the Korean embassy Kim Jin-Wook, who on Tuesday participated in a donation of equipment to the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH).

The donation was orchestrated by the Korea International Cooperation Association Scholarship Alumni.

“In our interconnected world, the well-being of one affects the well-being of all. It is not about the size of the donation but the sincerity behind it, the shared commitment to fostering a healthier and more compassionate society. The items represent a commitment to making a tangible difference. It is about recognising the challenges faced by healthcare professionals and acknowledging the strength of the international community coming together to address these challenges.”

His next comments were directed to the health professionals present.

“Your tireless efforts are the heartbeat of our shared commitment to better health. It is my hope that this donation will serve as a catalyst for further acts of kindness, uniting us all in the pursuit of a healthier, more compassionate world,” Kim said.

The donated equipment included a Medline excel wheelchair, Medline roll-by android with large basket, a three-function hospital bed and mattress along with blood pressure machines.

Elise Fairweather Blackwood, director of nursing services at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, spoke to the importance of every single piece of equipment to the delivery of good healthcare.

“The blood pressure machines are used to check the blood pressure of patients and that gives us the baseline data to guide other activities. So those are used every day to see if the blood pressure is going up, remains normal or if there is a fall in the blood pressure that will indicate that something else is happening with the patient,” she told The Gleaner.

Meanwhile, Samantha Nicholson Spence, senior medical officer at the KPH, commended the Korean embassy for its strategic choice in selecting the premier public hospital in Jamaica and the English-speaking Caribbean.

“We serve more than 70 per cent of this island and, some services, we are the only hospital to provide that service. By choosing this institution you have the broadest reach to the people of Jamaica,” she disclosed.

She went on to explain that in Jamaica, which has enjoyed universal access to healthcare since 2008 and is one of the few countries where citizens can access the entire healthcare spectrum free of cost, the country’s patients have access to some of the greatest specialist and healthcare professionals.

Nicholson Spence attributed the extensive reach of the public healthcare system to the ongoing public-private sector partnership.

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