ESIC aims to open one super speciality hospital in each state

first_imgESIC aims to open one super speciality hospital in each state News Phoenix Business Consulting invests in telehealth platform Healpha Minister of State for Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar was recently speaking at Lok Sabha recentlyThe government has taken a decision to open one super speciality hospital in each state under healthcare facilities run by the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).“ESIC has taken a decision to set up one super speciality hospital in each state. At present, ESI Corporation is running two super speciality hospitals at Sanath Nagar, Telangana and Asramam, Kollam, in Kerala,” Minister of State for Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in Lok Sabha recently.Formed under the ESI Act, ESIC applies to premises with 10 or more number of employees. The employees with wages up to Rs 21,000 per month are entitled to health insurance cover and other benefits under the act.It covers over 8.98 lakh factories and establishments across the country that benefits about 3.19 crore family units.ESIC has over 12.40 crore beneficiaries. It has 151 hospitals and about 1,489 dispensaries.In a separate question if academic activities being suffered in ESI Medical College and Hospital in Kalaburgi (Karnataka) due to shortage of cadavers for research and eduction, Gangwar said “Yes”.“Yes. It has been recently learnt that there is shortage of cadavers for research and education at ESIC Medical College, Kalaburgi. The total intake of students is 100 MBBS admission annually. The college is making efforts to procure more cadavers,” he said.The minister said ESIC Medical Colleges have undertaken programmes for encouraging individuals to support cadaver donations.At present, ESIC has 13 medical colleges in seven states–West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, New Delhi, Maharahstra, Karnataka, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh.In December 2014, government had said that ESIC was exploring possibilities to hand over its medical college projects to respective state governments as medical education is not the core function of the corporation.“The focus of ESIC is on providing primary, secondary and super-speciality medical care services to Insured Persons (IPs). Medical education is not the core function of ESIC. The ESIC is exploring possibilities to hand over the medical college projects to respective state governments,” the then labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya had said in written reply in Parliament. Heartfulness group of organisations launches ‘Healthcare by Heartfulness’ COVID care app Share WHO tri-regional policy dialogue seeks solutions to challenges facing international mobility of health professionals By EH News Bureau on March 13, 2018 center_img The missing informal workers in India’s vaccine story Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals releases first “Comprehensive Textbook of COVID-19” Related Posts MaxiVision Eye Hospitals launches “Mucormycosis Early Detection Centre” Read Article Menopause to become the next game-changer in global femtech solutions industry by 2025last_img read more

Elawoman launches data driven fertility platform to fix fertility experience in India

first_img MaxiVision Eye Hospitals launches “Mucormycosis Early Detection Centre” Phoenix Business Consulting invests in telehealth platform Healpha Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals releases first “Comprehensive Textbook of COVID-19” Heartfulness group of organisations launches ‘Healthcare by Heartfulness’ COVID care app By EH News Bureau on September 7, 2018 Share Read Article Related Postscenter_img Menopause to become the next game-changer in global femtech solutions industry by 2025 The platform uses a patented patient-doctor matching algorithm to increase success rates of fertility patientsElawoman, a data driven women’s health and fertility company, recently announced the launch of its end-to-end fertility platform and app ELA, designed to help couples to meet their fertility goals.Elawoman provides services like fertility coaching, access to top tier certified fertility clinics and doctors in India, lowered rates for fertility treatments, emotional counseling, financial assistance as well as legal support to patients in IVF and surrogacy treatment. Right from tracking their fertility with accuracy, comparing various treatments and clinics to getting a treatment done, users can seek all information on fertility.The platform has an inbuilt fertility calculator which allows the users to input their medical condition on more than 30 parameters. Based on his/her medical condition, the algorithm suggests the best suitable treatment. It also allows the patients to know and understand the cost of the fertility treatment depending on their medical condition, budget and location.Speaking on the launch of the platform, Yogesh Agarwal, Co-founder and CBO, Elawoman said,” There is a common notion in the society that test tube baby is not your own and an artificial baby. We work towards clearing such misconceptions around fertility, thus bringing awareness and knowledge. Through Ela we aim to provide an online community where couples can discuss their issues freely and get transparent advice and help in a supportive environment.”The Ela App also provides ovulation tracking for couples who have started planning their family. The platform uses a patented doctor-patient matching algorithm to increase the success rates of fertility treatments to 72 per cent as compared to current rate of 40 per cent. The algorithm which maps the patient requirements to the doctor specialisation and suggest the best doctor to the patient enabling the platform to witness more than 72 per cent success rate of positive pregnancy for all the fertility treatments facilitated.Currently the platform has partnerships with more than 500 best fertility doctors and clinics across 45+ cities of India, including known brands like Apollo Fertility, Apollo Cradle, Cloudnine Hospital, Motherhood, Morpheus IVF, Dr Rama Fertility, Bavishi IVF, Bloom IVF to name a few. News The missing informal workers in India’s vaccine story Elawoman launches data driven fertility platform to fix fertility experience in India WHO tri-regional policy dialogue seeks solutions to challenges facing international mobility of health professionalslast_img read more

Our success rate is on an average above 60 per cent – Dr Rajesh Koradia, Founder & Director, MIRA Hospital & IVF Center

first_img MaxiVision Eye Hospitals launches “Mucormycosis Early Detection Centre” Heartfulness group of organisations launches ‘Healthcare by Heartfulness’ COVID care app Read Article The missing informal workers in India’s vaccine story Related Posts Phoenix Business Consulting invests in telehealth platform Healpha By Sanjiv Das on November 19, 2018 Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals releases first “Comprehensive Textbook of COVID-19”center_img Share Our success rate is on an average above 60 per cent – Dr Rajesh Koradia, Founder & Director, MIRA Hospital & IVF Center WHO tri-regional policy dialogue seeks solutions to challenges facing international mobility of health professionals News Dr Rajesh Koradia, Founder & Director, MIRA Hospital & IVF Center, speaks to Sanjiv Das about the rise of infertility and how to increase chances of conceivingThere is a steady rise of infertility in India. Why is infertility on the rise in India?From the overall population, around 15-20 per cent couples face challenges in conceiving. This percentage may be a little higher in the urban areas and a little lower in the rural areas. The reasons for higher instances of infertility in urban areas are stressful and unhealthy lifestyle, being more career oriented, less sexual frequency, tubal problems in females caused due to sexual promiscuity etc. Various vices that are more common nowadays like smoking, drinking, obesity etc. have a negative impact on the fertility in both males and females.What are the new types of treatment to counter infertility?There are many new techniques in the field of Infertility treatment, with some of them being more of a marketing gimmick than of actual use. Some of the technologies are more about eliminating the human effort as well as human errors. Some of them being:IVF Witness System: This system greatly reduces the human error of sample mix up.Assisted Laser Hatching: This technology helps the embryo to better attach to the womb.I.M.S.I. : Intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI) is a technique to be better able to assess the structure of the sperm and exclude the sperm with suspected abnormalities from being injected into the available eggs.P.G.D.: Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a reproductive technology used to increase the potential for a successful pregnancy and delivery. PGD is a genetic test on cells removed from embryos, to help select the best embryo(s) to achieve pregnancy or to avoid a genetic disease for which a couple is at risk.C.A.S.A.: A sophisticated electronic imaging system to visualise the sperm and an advanced software program to evaluate dozens of individual sperm parameters.People from which geographies, socio economic are at higher risk of infertility and why?As discussed before, it has been very widely observed that the people located in the urban geographical areas are more prone to infertility mainly due to the various lifestyle changes, vices, stressful lives etc. that occur at such places. Work life imbalance is more widely prevalent in such urban areas.What are the treatment methods available at your centre?We offer all modern treatments for Infertility at MIRA IVF. We have all facilities of a laminar flow, Class 1000 AHU as well as the clean room environment. Sometimes some endoscopic procedure may be required as a part of the treatment for infertility. To cater to this, a state of the art endoscopic OT with imported high end equipment has been incorporated in MIRA IVF for a long time. All endoscopic surgeries are also undertaken by me personally and we are not dependent on any visiting surgeon. Thus we act as a one stop solution for all aspects of infertility treatment. One of the key USP of our IVF Centre is our success rate. According to the MCI guidelines we cannot claim a success rate higher than the statistical average. However, let me share with you that our success rate is on an average above 60 per cent. This figure is open for anyone to come and verify from our records. Second is the trust our patients have in us. We never share any kind of genetic material without the patient’s consent because our focus is not to increase the success rate artificially, but to work towards our mission of “Childless None” where all intending parents should get the joy of parenthood. Further to that mission, expenditure for IVF at MIRA IVF is probably the least in all of India. And for patients who cannot even afford the charges, we offer further discounts, payment facilities, installments etc. Non affording patients at MIRA IVF are offered an option of paying just for the injections every cycle and we collect our charges when the patient has conceived. Such is the confidence we have on our results. Personal attention to each and every patient is something which we deliver. Each and every patient is counselled by me personally. The protocols to be followed, stimulation schedule etc. is all decided by me for each and every patient of MIRA IVF. Embryological procedures are taken care of by my daughter Arwa Koradia who is an excellent embryologist. Thus as a team, we work as a two point contact for the patients. Patients can directly contact her for any embryological aspect query and me for any clinical aspect query. This accessibility to us provides a continuous updation and support to our patients.Do you have any expansion plans? What type of investments are you looking at in the next five years?We wish to start Community IVF Centres in various parts of the country in association with the local Gynaecologists who want to start an IVF centre but are too busy with their Obstetric and Gynaecological work or are worried about delivering results. In this Community IVF centre, we wish to take them as partners. They can bring their patient, learn and then later on start practising themselves. By using a shared IVF lab, the cost of IVF also reduces significantly, thus benefiting the patients too. By these Community IVF Centres, we want to reach out to as many infertile couples as possible by bringing the cost of IVF further down and make it even more [email protected] Menopause to become the next game-changer in global femtech solutions industry by 2025last_img read more

Persistent Systems in collaboration with Prashanti Cancer Care Mission and IISER Pune organise 1st TCGA Conference and Workshop

first_imgPersistent Systems in collaboration with Prashanti Cancer Care Mission and IISER Pune organise 1st TCGA Conference and Workshop Phoenix Business Consulting invests in telehealth platform Healpha Related Posts Add Comment News cancerIISER PunePersistent SystemsPrashanti Cancer Care MissionTCGA Conference and Workshop Share By EH News Bureau on September 24, 2019 MaxiVision Eye Hospitals launches “Mucormycosis Early Detection Centre” Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals releases first “Comprehensive Textbook of COVID-19” Heartfulness group of organisations launches ‘Healthcare by Heartfulness’ COVID care app WHO tri-regional policy dialogue seeks solutions to challenges facing international mobility of health professionals Menopause to become the next game-changer in global femtech solutions industry by 2025 The conference, workshop is aimed to encourage researchers, clinicians to actively participate, accelerate cancer research discoveries to translate into clinical outcomesPersistent Systems in collaboration with Prashanti Cancer Care Mission (PCCM) and IISER Pune announced the 1st TCGA Conference and Workshop from September 21-25, 2019 at IISER Pune. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), is a cancer genomics programme that molecularly characterised over 20,000 primary cancer and matched normal samples spanning 33 cancer types. This joint effort between the National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute began in 2006, bringing together researchers from diverse disciplines and multiple institutions.TCGA has generated more than 2.5 petabytes of genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic and proteomic data over the years. The data, which has already led to improvements in the ability to diagnose, treat and prevent cancer, will remain publicly available for anyone in the research community to use.Modelling upon the NIH led TCGA initiative, Persistent Systems, Prashanti Cancer Care Mission (PCCM) and IISER Pune will be launching a TCGA India initiative on cancer data collection, analysis, and management. This initiative will play a critical role in advancing Indian healthcare.The TCGA Conference and Hands-on Workshop in India is aimed to encourage the community of Indian researchers and clinicians to actively participate and accelerate cancer research discoveries to translate into clinical outcomes. Attendees include Dr Jean Claude Zenklusen, Director, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), USA along with his senior colleagues; Prof Sunil Badve, Joshua Edwards Professor of Experimental Medicine, Indiana School of Medicine, Indianapolis, USA who is coordinating between TCGA and Pune group and a large number of cancer researchers from across the globe. The Wellcome Trust -DBT India Alliance, a major biomedical funding agency in India has partnered with the Pune group in this important conference, highlighting the importance given by the Indian community to the need for a TCGA India initiative.Dr Anand Deshpande, Chairman, Persistent Systems said, “TCGA has helped the global cancer research community work towards prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. TCGA India proposes to build a similar India centric data set that will extend upon and integrate with global genomic initiatives. Software is fundamental to the TCGA initiative as an unprecedented amount of complex biological data needs to be collected, handled and managed. The India data set will help refine and discover treatments for Indian cancer patients.”“Persistent is delighted to be co-organising the first-ever TCGA India conference in Pune to bring together global experts working in this area which will result in collaboration and innovation amongst researchers,” added Dr Deshpande.“It is very encouraging that there is a willingness of performing large-scale genomics programs locally in India. I hope the results will be widely and openly distributed as the TCGA data was, and not restricted to commercial use.” stated Dr ZenklusenDr CB Koppiker, Breast Onco-surgeon and Medical Director, Prashanti Cancer Care Mission said,“With the declining cost of genomic technology, molecular/precision oncology is fast becoming mainstream in the cancer management in India. In my breast onco-surgery practice, I have seen the significant impact of tumour molecular profiling on better surgical and clinical management decision making. However, Indian cancers have uniquely different molecular attributes than their western counterparts. Hence, taking motivation from the TCGA project, it is timely and pertinent that the onco-community joins hands to initiate high impact, large scale, multi-disciplinary initiatives that are relevant to the Indian context. Prashanti Cancer Care Mission is committed to playing a pro-active role in this effort.”Prof LS Shashidhara, IISER Pune mentioned, “Considering human and micro-biome diversity in India and our distinctive identities compared to the rest of the world, it is imperative that more we share clinical data, better we can manage cancer at the clinical level and thereby reducing health burden in the society. TCGA India initiative provides an opportunity for Indian researchers to generate quality data and share them freely on a single platform. This initiative will also impact entire South-East Asia, given our shared biological history.”“To make any headway against a complex disease like cancer, one has to use all the tools one can garner to understand its strength and weaknesses. Having large databases that catalogue all aspects of cancer is critical in this endeavour. TCGA-India could provide such a library and make a difference to the management of cancer patients in India and Indian diaspora which together amounts to approximately 20 per cent of the world population,” opined Prof Badve. Read Article The missing informal workers in India’s vaccine story Comments (0)last_img read more

Indians ask 1000+ queries related to sexual and reproductive health, per hour

first_img Less than 10 per cent of young men and women in India learn about sex from adults including teachers, health care professionals, or family members, according to a recent study “Morbidity and Mortality among Adolescents and Young Adults in India.” Sexual and reproductive health is a topic that most Indians are still not comfortable discussing or are ignorant about. The stigma attached to these topics are the root cause for other, larger issues people, especially women, face every day.Only 45 per cent young men and 28 per cent young women have a comprehensive knowledge about HIV/AIDS and its prevention in India. The state of prevention of other sexually transmitted infections for both genders is very low owing to the fact that no proper medical assistance is availed.In light of such statistics, Practo conducted an internal study to understand how India sees sexual and reproductive health and goes about seeking help.There has been a 139 per cent growth in sexual health consults, since last year. Users have increasingly preferred online consultation for sexual health queries as it is an easily accessible, private and trustworthy option. Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad witnessed a significant growth in the number of online sexologist consultations compared to the previous year. People aged between 21 to 30 contributed to 72 per cent of the overall e-Consults on sexual health.The study also showed the following outcomes:Sexual and gynaecology accounted for 41 per cent of all e-Consults received last yearForty six per cent of all sexual health-related consults come from men, while 54 per cent were from womenSeventy two per cent of the queries came from people aged between 21-30 followed by people from the 31-40 age groupT7 cities witnessed a growth of 196 per cent for sexual health-related e-consults year-on-year. Seventy per cent of the e-consults for sexual health were from Bengaluru, Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune and ChennaiQueries for sexual health in Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad have been growing at a rate of 50 per cent year-on-yearSexual health has been one of the topmost concerns for people from non-metro cities contributing to 30 per cent of all e-consults on sexual health. In non-T7 cities, most of the queries came from Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Bhubaneshwar, and Chandigarh and the top topics discussed were abortion, unplanned pregnancy, masturbation, and premature ejaculation.Dr Alexander Kuruvilla, Chief Healthcare Strategy Officer, Practo, said, “e-Consults are empowering patients and practitioners across the country by improving access to quality health services and combating stigma and discrimination. Most people in India brush aside symptoms, especially those pertaining to sexual and reproductive health, due to societal biases and/or shame, leading to worsening of condition and a low quality of life. Hence, it’s important to consult experts, and for that, access is the key. That’s what digital healthcare is solving for: access, convenience and affordability, so there’s less resistance and more empowerment to take control of one’s health.”Dr Gayathri D Kamath, Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Fortis, Bemgaluru, said, “There has been a significant change in the way people in India, especially women, approach sexual health. Across all age groups, there has been a constant rise in the number of people seeking information and medical help online regarding sexual and reproductive health. Earlier, couples would shy away from talking about sexual problems for several reasons. They now acknowledge the issues and seek proper assistance in the early stages from specialists which helps in further treatments. Digital platforms like Practo have played a major role in increasing awareness of the different facets of sexual health and in helping people seek professional help instead of suffering silently.” e-consultsPractoreproductive healthsexual health Phoenix Business Consulting invests in telehealth platform Healpha Related Posts WHO tri-regional policy dialogue seeks solutions to challenges facing international mobility of health professionals Add Comment Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals releases first “Comprehensive Textbook of COVID-19” Heartfulness group of organisations launches ‘Healthcare by Heartfulness’ COVID care app Share The missing informal workers in India’s vaccine story Indians ask 1000+ queries related to sexual and reproductive health, per hour Sexual and reproductive health consults have gone up by 139 per cent in the last one year. Bengaluru tops the chart, followed by Delhi NCR and Mumbai Menopause to become the next game-changer in global femtech solutions industry by 2025 Read Article Comments (0) By EH News Bureau on February 13, 2020 MaxiVision Eye Hospitals launches “Mucormycosis Early Detection Centre” News last_img read more

Dr. Tufton Gives Update on Jamaica’s Agricultural Sector

first_imgDr. Tufton Gives Update on Jamaica’s Agricultural Sector AgricultureAugust 16, 2010 RelatedDr. Tufton Gives Update on Jamaica’s Agricultural Sector FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, has said that Jamaica can reduce by as much as 30 per cent, its food import bill, if a number of initiatives are put in place.The Minister was speaking with his Canadian counterpart, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Hon. Gerry Ritz, recently in Ottawa, Canada.Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton (left) greets Associate Vice-President in the Policy and Programs Branch of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Paul Mayers, in Ottawa, Canada, recently.In giving Mr. Ritz an overview of the Jamaican agricultural sector, Dr. Tufton said that Jamaica had several excellent commodities that needed to be developed. He included Blue Mountain coffee, Jamaican cocoa, and Jamaican ginger, which has been found to be nine times more potent than the next best ginger in the world.Dr. Tufton said that, as a small country, Jamaica could not compete if cost of production was the determining factor. However, he said that the country was seeking to establish partnerships, in a number of areas, which would assist. He cited the strides Canada has made in genetics, especially in beef, pork and chicken, as examples.The meeting took place in Mr. Ritz’s office. It was also attended by Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Sheila Sealy Monteith, as well as the Permanent Secretary in Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Donovan Stanberry; Chief Technical Director, Dr. Marc Panton; and Director of the Centre of Excellence for Agriculture, Dr. Derrick Deslandes.In a subsequent meeting with representatives of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Dr. Tufton reiterated the need to improve Jamaica’s ability to trace its food from “farm to plate”, requesting technical assistance from Canada to install a multi-purpose abattoir and to upgrade existing ones.Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton (second right) and members of his delegation listen intently to the owner of SunTech Greenhouses in Ontario, Canada, Bob Mitchell (right) explain about hydroponic farming. Also pictured are Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. Marc Panton (left) and Director of the Centre of Excellence for Advanced Technology in Agriculture, Dr. Derrick Deslandes (second left).Traceability mechanisms are important in order to quickly identify animal diseases and minimize threats to other animals and people, Dr. Tufton said.“That type of traceability is very important. Our vision is to be able to register the farm and animals, trace the animals, as they go through one of the abattoirs, and then all the way to the marketplace,” he explained.Associate Vice-President in the Policy and Programs branch of CFIA, Paul Mayers, indicated his agency’s willingness to assist Jamaica, noting that traceability is one of the key drivers in responding to issues.Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton (left) greets one of five Jamaican farm workers at the SunTech Greenhouses in Ontario, Canada, Orville Williams, who is from Kemps Hill, Clarendon.Dr. Tufton and his delegation also visited SunTech, a hydroponic greenhouse owned by Bob Mitchell, which grows tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplants. The company employs five Jamaican farm workers.Hydroponics, which is farming above ground without soil, has taken off in Canada in recent times, especially in Ontario. RelatedDr. Tufton Gives Update on Jamaica’s Agricultural Sectorcenter_img RelatedDr. Tufton Gives Update on Jamaica’s Agricultural Sector Advertisementslast_img read more

CARICOM signs trade and cooperation agreement with Cuba

first_imgCARICOM signs trade and cooperation agreement with Cuba Foreign AffairsDecember 3, 2010 RelatedCARICOM signs trade and cooperation agreement with Cuba RelatedCARICOM signs trade and cooperation agreement with Cuba FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Cabinet has endorsed the implementation of duty free access for specific goods from Cuba into Jamaica and seasonal duties on other products.Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Daryl Vaz gave this update during the Post Cabinet Press Briefing at Jamaica House earlier this week.The endorsement is a move towards implementing the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement between CARICOM and the Republic of Cuba that was signed in 2000. Cabinet also gave instructions for amendments to be drafted to the Customs Act so that the Agreement can be fully implemented.center_img RelatedCARICOM signs trade and cooperation agreement with Cuba Advertisementslast_img read more

Reps. from region explore solutions for drug phenomenon

first_imgAdvertisements RelatedReps. from region explore solutions for drug phenomenon CONTACT: DOUGLAS McINTOSH RelatedReps. from region explore solutions for drug phenomenon FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Over 30 representatives from North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, including Jamaica, are in the island for a three-day meeting to discuss and explore solutions for the drug phenomenon in the region. The high level meeting, which opened on Wednesday (March 2) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, and lasts until Friday (March 4), has been convened by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), in collaboration with the Inter-American Drug Abuse Commission (CICAD) of the Organisation of American States (OAS) Multi-national Security Secretariat. Both groups have partnered with the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) to host the meeting, which is designed to share findings on the existence of, and the extent to which the drug phenomenon is addressed in the curricula and activities of Caribbean universities. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Maureen Irons-Morgan, alluded to a project entitled: ‘CICAD/University Partnership Project’, which CICAD commenced implementing in collaboration with Latin American universities since 1997, which focuses on education, outreach and research, among other activities, as regard drug demand reduction and substance abuse control. She said the CICAD/CARICOM regional meeting with Caribbean universities has been organised with the objective of developing a similar project in the region. Expounding on the three key focus areas, Dr. Irons-Morgan said the educational component is expected to entail incorporation of relevant information about drugs in the undergraduate and post-graduate curricula of different academic areas, faculty development and monitoring evaluation systems. The outreach component, she said, will involve development of health promotion and drug abuse prevention activities at the community level, while the “very important” research component will facilitate the implementation of studies on drug related issues, according to the priority of each participating country. “The Ministry of Health recognises the importance of integrating these issues related to substance prevention into the academic development of our university students. It is, in fact, these students who will become our leaders, movers, policy makers and practitioners at different levels all across the Caribbean. The Ministry wholeheartedly welcomes and supports this initiative of CICAD, the University of West Indies, other universities, and the NCDA, and pledge to give the necessary support to facilitate this process,” she assured. Programme Manager for CARICOM’s Sustainable Development Secretariat, Beverly Reynolds, who also spoke, said that the need to build specialised capacity in the area of drug demand reduction, was recognised from as far back as 2002 when the regional drug demand reduction strategy was developed. The strategy, she said, was presented to the regional Health Ministers at the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSAD). “We are pleased to be associated with this move, which has been spearheaded by CICAD. Over the next three days it will be intense. But I believe it is going to be rewarding,” Ms. Reynolds said. Reps. from region explore solutions for drug phenomenon Office of the Prime MinisterMarch 3, 2011 RelatedReps. from region explore solutions for drug phenomenonlast_img read more

Big Plans for Downtown

first_img By Allan Brooks, JIS Senior Reporter FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail KINGSTON — The transformation of downtown Kingston is rapidly gathering momentum, as evidenced by over 300 percent increase in expressions of interest in the tax incentive programme for urban renewal by interested investors, over the last 18 months. This was disclosed by the General Manager of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Joy Douglas, as she outlined the investment opportunities in downtown Kingston, at a UDC/Scotia Investments Forum at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Thursday September 22. Ms. Douglas said that other manifestations of the surge of interest in the area, included the renewed interest of existing property owners in their properties, because of increasing property values, and what has been described, in some quarters, as a ‘grab on for lands’. The UDC boss described the forum as an activity geared towards advancing the development of the capital city, and putting forward solutions to getting there. She explained that working with stakeholder partners, the UDC has been making significant progress in designing elements of the physical landscape, as well as creative funding methods for downtown Kingston. She expressed confidence that the concept will find favour with most persons, and “should begin to open our minds to investment possibilities.” Ms. Douglas noted that, to a large extent, interest has already been “staked in most if not all parcels of lands along the downtown Kingston waterfront.” She disclosed that, as a result, some of the major activities are expected to unfold over the next 24 months. These include: the refurbishment of UDC developed structures along the waterfront; development of a hotel and apartment complex on the old Myrtle Bank property; the construction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office building on the site of the current Police Area 4 headquarters; and relocation and construction of a state-of-the art police facility, along the west end. In addition, there are plans for: construction of a major operational base for one of the leading security conglomerates; construction of a multi-level parking facility along Orange Street; and the development of low income housing solutions, under a pilot programme to test desirability and sustainability of the model proposed. With respect to the downtown market district, Ms. Douglas explained that the build out and reordering of the market district will continue apace. She also stated that the development of UDC’s proposed new headquarters building, which will commence at the old Machado Complex, will feature the modern urban mix, including a food bazaar with a mix of food, craft, entertainment inset within a green space offering commercial and recreational opportunities. Echoing the Finance Minister’s claim that the climate is now ripe for investments, Ms. Douglas observed that the macro-economic environment and emerging national business focus, should serve to “strengthen the comparative advantage of operators and investors downtown.” On the low interest rate environment, she declared that this has put private capital on the hunt for a home with higher returns, and downtown Kingston has the room to accommodate the desire. With respect to the tax incentive programme (TIP) for urban renewal she said that, “this facility effectively provides a subsidy for development projects, and allows for a higher retention of profits, even as companies improve the quality of their assets”. “It also allows for diversified income streams, given provisions for tax free rental income for built or improved properties,” she noted. She said that, in addition to tax benefits provided under the tax incentive programme, the advent of the junior stock exchange also provides complementary benefits for investing in the city. Ms Douglas said that the proposed creation of an international finance centre downtown, would provide the necessary economic underpinning for sustainable implementation of the city’s development plans, while considerations to support the expansion of the information, communication and technology (ICT) sector could look at the benefits of operating in the special development zone. With respect to the significant outlay of capital required to make the dream a reality, Ms. Douglas explained that the developments would be driven largely by private financing. “Even as we seek to operationalise elements of the development plan for the city, we are mindful of the resource limitations of the corporation and the country. Our approach, therefore, speaks to the alignment of interests with possible use of the following tools: Public/Private sector Partnerships (PPPS); Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT); and Initial Public Offerings (IPOS),” she stated.  The investment promotion forum co-sponsored by the UDC and Scotia Investments, brought together the captains of industry and commerce in Jamaica, including Digicel, which is locating its regional corporate headquarters in downtown Kingston, Guardsman Limited, which is eying locating its local offices there, as well as ‘established downtowners’ Grace Kennedy, Scotia Bank and the Jamaica Stock Exchange. The UDC’s boss expressed confidence that the main objectives of the Forum will be realized. “While recognizing what the investment challenges are, we take a critical look at what opportunities exist, and seize those opportunities that can be rewarding, in spite of the challenges,” she opined. Big Plans for Downtown CommunitySeptember 23, 2011 Advertisements RelatedBig Plans for Downtown RelatedBig Plans for Downtown RelatedBig Plans for Downtownlast_img read more

PM Completes Naming of New Cabinet

first_imgRelatedPrime Minister Golding Announces Cabinet Changes Advertisements RelatedPM Completes Naming of New Cabinet FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail KINGSTON — Prime Minister, the Hon. Andrew Holness, in unveiling his Cabinet, during a swearing-in ceremony at King’s House Tuesday (October 25), emphasized that the executive team reflects the capacity of the representatives in Parliament to direct the country in the new direction that he would like to steer the country. The Prime Minister observed that public opinion has indicated that the people of Jamaica want decisive, meaningful and quick action and, therefore, there was a “limited learning curve”, thus changes without chaos was the desired option. The reshuffle and new appointments, he said, reflected those who were hard-working and innovative.   The changes include former Information Minister, Hon Daryl Vaz being sworn in as Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Telecommunications and Public Sector Efficiency, while Senator Arthur Williams, former Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister for the Public Service being appointed Minister without Portfolio for the Information Ministry. State Minister, Hon Shahine Robinson has been promoted to the cabinet as a Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Housing, Environment, Water and Local Government, with responsibility for Local Government.   Prime Minister Holness has retained the Education portfolio in addition to being Minister of Defence, while Delroy Chuck has been retained as Minister of Justice, but with the additional responsibility of leader of the House of Representatives, succeeding Mr. Holness. The Prime Minister, while alluding to his promotion to the become Head of Government, stated that the “transition has set the stage for succession planning”, and that there were planned changes to come which would include mentoring the young, while setting the stage for “the continuum for the future.” PM Completes Naming of New Cabinet ParliamentOctober 26, 2011 By Allan Brooks, JIS Senior Reporter RelatedPM Completes Naming of New Cabinetlast_img read more