The Universal Service Fund (USF) has sponsored additional bandwidth for the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) and the Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH) and the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA).
Under a three-year contract signed on Tuesday (February 18) at the KPH’s North Street address, downtown Kingston, the USF will be making monthly payments of US$1,950 for increased bandwidth service at the institutions.
The hospitals and the regional office are currently experiencing slow service, which has affected the efficient use of information systems and the transfer of scanned images and laboratory tests.
With the support, bandwidth to SERHA will move from 10 megabytes (MB) per second to more than 100 MB per second, while service to KPH and VJH will increase from two MB per second to 60 MB per second.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said the increased bandwidth will facilitate swift transfer of digital X-rays, Computerised Tomography (CT) scans, ultrasound images and laboratory results to medical personnel, thereby enhancing patient care delivery.
“This improvement means a lot of data expansion, and the capacity of the institutions to support data will enable greater efficiency, better turnaround time, better diagnostics, responsiveness and treatment,” he noted.
Additionally, it will allow for the use of an e-procurement system to be in full operation at KPH, and for faster access to the Human Resource Management (HRM) System by the accounts department.
Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams, in her remarks, said the allocation will significantly improve the operations at the hospitals, which, she noted, are among the island’s critical public health facilities.
“I can think of no other entity that is more deserving of a strategic investment in improving its information technology capabilities. Healthcare providers occupy a space in the intersection of communication and medical technology and access to broadband/bandwidth enables healthcare solutions in a well-functioning healthcare system,” she said.
Chief Executive Officer, USF, Daniel Dawes, for his part, said the agency “is pleased to facilitate this worthy initiative”.
He said the Fund plays an important role in providing technology support to the health sector, facilitating broadband access to 60 public health facilities throughout the country at a cost of over US$24,000 per month.