Health facilities across the country will receive a boost in security services, made possible through a contract signing that took place today (January 3, 2020) at the National Chest Hospital in Kingston.

Over five different security companies are now tasked with keeping these health facilities safe for a period of three years, under the jurisdiction of the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA).

The contracts value over $1.7 billion dollars.

Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton says this will restore confidence and provide a secure environment for patients and staff.

Minister Tufton says the government is committed to investing in security.

He adds that aggression is a feature of Jamaican culture that needs to be eradicated. 

A contract, valued $348.2 million, has been issued to Shalk Electronic Security for the provision of security services at the Kingston and St. Andrew Health Department and all health centres across the Corporate Area, while King Alarm has received a contract in the sum of $355 million to provide services at the Kingston Public and Victoria Jubilee Hospitals.

Additionally, Marksman Limited has been contracted to provide security and related services at the Spanish Town Hospital, St. Catherine Health Department Offices, Linstead Hospital and selected health centres across St. Catherine at a cost of $382.8 million, while Atlas Protection Limited has been awarded a $193.5 million contract to service the Princess Margaret Hospital, St. Thomas Health Department offices and selected health centres in St. Thomas.

SERHA is responsible for the delivery of health care services to the residents of St. Catherine, St. Thomas, Kingston and St. Andrew.

Tufton notes that an audit of the security at public health facilities island-wide is now under way.

“We will be looking at how we can boost that security, both in terms of the contracts that we sign and the supporting infrastructure – access to buildings, cameras and responsiveness. This is a new approach and it is in keeping with our vision that aims to be more responsive to what is happening in the environment,” he explained.