Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says Jamaica’s human development ranking will be further improved in the coming years through construction of the 220-bed Western Children and Adolescents Hospital.
He noted that while the country has a reasonably high ranking on the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI), at 97 out of 189 countries, there is still room for improvement.
“On the Human Development Index, Jamaica’s score is 0.732, which places us in the high human development category, particularly in areas such as health, where we are doing very well.
“Now, I am not comfortable in being ranked 97… . I think we can do much better. Actually, I am confident that in 10 years’ time we will jump 30 places or more,” he said. Prime Minister Holness was delivering the keynote address at the ceremony to break ground the hospital in Montego Bay, St. James, on October 23.
He noted that the new hospital, which is being built at a cost of $5.7 billion (US$43-million), through funding by the Chinese government, will rapidly improve Jamaica’s status as a health powerhouse in the region and will stand as a “shining example of what a world-class facility should be”.
“This hospital that we are breaking ground for here today, I am sure will move us two or three places up on the world index,” Mr. Holness said.
“This hospital will be able to accommodate 220 patients by bed count. This hospital will improve the quality of life of the citizens in this region and will hereby be reflected in the human development index,” he added.
The HDI is a comparative measure of life expectancy, education and per capita income indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers of human development.
The HDI ranks countries as having very high human development; high human development; medium human development; or low human development.